Rep. Paul Ryan told CNN
that President Barack Obama's $320 billion tax proposal won't help middle- and working-class Americans as the economy struggles toward recovery.
On special CNN State of the Union coverage, reporter Dana Bash asked the Wisconsin Republican, who chairs the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, if he could give Obama credit for lowering the unemployment rate from 10 percent when he took office in 2009 to 5.6 percent today.
Ryan said there is still a long way to go for the jobless.
"We have 2 million able-bodied Americans not able to work right now," Ryan said. "Add that to the jobs number and it doesn't look very good."
Republicans say Obama isn't counting the labor participation rate, which is at about 63 percent, The Daily Signal reports,
the lowest rate since 1978. Once people give up looking for a job, they are removed from the official unemployment figures.
The last thing needed, he said, is a major tax increase when wages are stagnating.
"People aren't getting the opportunities they need," he said. "We have 45 million people living in poverty. There's a long ways to go. We shouldn't be doing some victory lap here."
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