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Obama assails GOP over vote on corporate tax credit

President Obama joined MTV, CMT and BET for a townhall in an attempt to further energize the youth vote in the final stretch before the midterm elections

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Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 16, 2010; 6:05 AM

Before Labor Day, Democrats complained that President Obama was paying too little attention to the economy, ignoring the most important issue to voters in the midterms.

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Now, having pivoted to the issue, Obama is clinging to it.

Much of his stump speeches these days are devoted to unemployment and the economy, as he traces recent U.S. economic history (back to the Bush years) and summarizes what Republicans would do if they win power (take it backward, he says).

On Saturday, Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address to hone in on a single policy difference between the parties: whether to end a tax credit for companies that move their U.S. operations overseas.

"Over the last four years alone, Republicans in the House voted 11 times to continue rewarding corporations that create jobs and profits overseas -- a policy that costs taxpayers billions of dollars every year," Obama said. "That doesn't make a lot of sense.

"It doesn't make sense for American workers, American businesses, or America's economy. A lot of companies that do business internationally make an important contribution to our economy here at home. That's a good thing," the president continued. "But there is no reason why our tax code should actively reward them for creating jobs overseas. Instead, we should be using our tax dollars to reward companies that create jobs and businesses within our borders."

Obama was referring to a bill that has been blocked in the Senate, most recently at the end of September. At the time, the Republicans plus five Democrats, including Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Finance Committee, opposed the bill.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the vote "as pure a political exercise as you can get," accusing Democrats of turning to the economy weeks before the election only to make a "good impression" on voters -- the same accusation Republicans are making of Obama as he focuses on the economy now.

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