Obama to Propose Capital Investment Tax Breaks That Could Save $200 Billion

Costs to taxpayers over 10 years estimated at $30 billion

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Proposed tax breaks by President Barack Obama on new capital investments are expected to save businesses $200 billion over two years, The Associated Press reported Tuesday, September 7. Obama will speak about the proposal at a speech in Cleveland on Wednesday

The tax breaks will allow businesses to write off 100% of new capital investments through 2011, the AP writes. The cost to taxpayers over the next 10 years would be $30 billion, "with most of the money lost in tax revenue being recouped as the economy strengthens."

The proposal expands on stimulus measures from 2008 and 2009 that allowed businesses to depreciate 50% of their capital investments, the AP writes.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs acknowledged the effect the political environment could have on the proposals.

"We understand what season we've entered in Washington," Gibbs said in a White house briefing. "We certainly hope that there are measures, including some of the ones that the president will outline, that Congress will consider. If they don't do that prior to the election, the president and the economic team still believe that these represent some very important ideas in continuing along our path toward economic recovery."

The AP noted that even if the proposals were approved, it's unlikely that they would have much effect on the economy by November, although an anonymous source told the agency the expanded tax breaks could benefit "several million people and 1.5 million businesses."

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