Obama calls on wealthy to pay more in taxes

September 8, 2011 - 7:35 PM
Obama Jobs

President Barack Obama delivers a speech to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011. Watching are Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says all Americans should pay their fair share in taxes, and he argues that most wealthy Americans and CEOs would be willing to do just that if it helps the economy grow and gets the country's fiscal house in order.

The president says that to help pay for his new jobs plan, he wants to eliminate loopholes for oil companies and tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires and use that money to give tax breaks to small-business owners and put teachers back to work.

The president says the tax code is, in his words, a "monument to special interest influence in Washington," and if it's reformed, corporate tax rates can come down.

Obama says the approach isn't class warfare or grandstanding — but simple math.