Obama defends tax deal, says best for the nation
WASHINGTON - Facing a Democratic rebellion, President Barack Obama on Tuesday staunchly defended his decision to compromise with Republicans and temporarily extend about-to-expire tax cuts for all Americans.
"There are some who would have preferred a protracted political fight," the president said at a White House news conference a day after the deal was announced. "And I understand the desire for a fight. I'm sympathetic to that."
But, he said, a long political battle "would be a bad deal for the economy. And it would be a bad deal for the American people." Still, he promised a fight during 2012, when the tax cuts would expire again, to make the point that he opposes the Republican position that high-income earners should get the extension, too.
Obama called "tax cuts for the wealthy" the Republicans' "holy grail."
"It seems to be their economic doctrine," Obama added, previewing a likely argument during his expected re-election race in 2012 when tax cuts are all but certain to be a major issue.
With the compromise agreement with Republicans - opposed by many Democrats in Congress - the president gave up a key goal to let Bush-era tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans expire. But he said the deal would stop taxes from rising for middle class Americans, "which is what I promised."
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Just in time for bed, evacuation lifted after gas line rupture
Water to be cut off for residents delinquent on sewer fees
St. George organizers submit 4,630 additional signatures
City leaders address concerns about Jones Creek Road construction
Iberville deputies train for 'shoot/don't shoot' situations