U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner urged congressional support for tax breaks for small businesses and said that would help create jobs.
"There are much, much more effective things we can do to help businesses get people back to work, like passing these tax incentives for businesses across the country," he said in an interview on Fox Business Network.
The U.S. Treasury chief has been making the rounds of television networks, trying to build support for the Obama administration's call for extending tax cuts for middle-class Americans but letting them end on schedule for the wealthiest.
Republicans have called for tax breaks, scheduled to end this year, to be extended for all income classes.
Geithner repeated that it a permanent extension of tax breaks for those earning $250,000 a year or more, would require borrowing $700 billion from future generations and said the country can't afford to do so.
"It's not going to do much for growth, it's not going to do much for businesses, it's not going to get people back to work," he said.
But he said allowing tax breaks to continue for middle-income families was not only affordable but also was good policy in the current circumstances with the economy still struggling to gain momentum. He said doing so would mean that 98 percent of small business owners would not face a tax increase.
"Our job is to try to figure out what is the best package of measures that we could put in place today to help businesses get Americans back to work," Geithner said.
"Our judgment is, and I think there's very broad support for this judgment, that the most effective thing we can do is provide more tax incentives for businesses and extend these tax cuts to the middle class."
Democrats are facing potential hefty political losses in November congressional elections, with little time left to try to get lawmakers to approve any new tax proposals.
Nevertheless, Geithner pledged that the administration will work hard to try to build support for tax changes that would encourage businesses to invest and said that, if approved, it would help bolster both consumer and business confidence about the economy's future.
"We're going to work very hard to build the support that we need to make that happen," he said.
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