President Barack Obama made a bid to promote his administration’s tax policies the day taxes were due to be filed.

“That’s why my administration has taken far-reaching action to give tax cuts to the Americans who need them, while jump-starting growth and job creation in the process,” he said. “We start from the simple premise that we should reduce the tax burden on working people, while helping Americans go to college, own a home, raise a family, start a business and save for retirement. Those goals are the foundation of the American dream, and they are the focus of my tax policy.”

However, tax protests took place across the country on tax day in a series of heavily promoted “tea parties” patterned after the Boston Tea Party that preceded the American Revolution. They reportedly drew tens of thousands of protesters, many bearing scathing signs about the president.

Families affected by the recession appeared alongside the president at a Washington press briefing. Obama described some of the actions his administration had taken since he took office in January, including the Making Work Pay tax cut, allowing small businesses to offset their losses against the income they’ve received over the last five years, a $2,500 tax credit for all four years of college, and an $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers.

Obama and First Lady Michelle released their own 2008 joint tax return on tax day. They reported adjusted gross income of $2,656,902, largely from sales of his bestselling books and audiobooks. They paid $855,323 on their federal taxes and $77,883 in state taxes.

At the press briefing, Obama reiterated his intention to end tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas and he pledged a long-term goal to simplify the Tax Code and filing process.

"We need to simplify a monstrous Tax Code that is far too complicated for most Americans to understand," he said. "It will take time to undo the damage of carve-outs and loopholes, but I want every American to know that we will rewrite the Tax Code so that it puts your interest over any special interest. And we will make it quicker, easier and less expensive to file a return, so that April 15 is not a date that is approached with dread every year."

The president also took aim at conservative critics of his tax policies.

“For too long, we've seen taxes used as a wedge to scare people into supporting policies that actually increased the burden on working people instead of helping them live their dreams,” he said. "That has to change, and that's the work that we’ve begun.”

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