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Obama: Don't use debt as a gun against Americans

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Posted: Jul 6, 2011 4:53 PM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: washington, debt, ceiling, republican, democrat, politics, budget, wbrz, louisiana

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama says the debt ceiling should not "be used as a gun against the heads" of Americans to retain breaks for corporate jet owners or oil and gas companies.

Answering questions posed to him on the social Networking site Twitter, the president cast the debate over reducing the deficit in some of the starkest language he has used so far.

Obama is seeking to reduce the deficit, in part, through new tax revenue raised by closing loopholes and tax subsidies. Among the loopholes cited by the White House are tax benefits for corporate jets. He also has called for ending subsidies to oil and gas companies, a proposal that would generate about $40 billion in revenue over 10 years.

Republicans have opposed measures that raise taxes.

But House GOP Leader Eric Cantor is signaling that he's willing to consider White House proposals to close tax loopholes in advance of a meeting tomorrow with Obama over cutting the budget and permitting the government to continue to borrow to meet its obligations. Cantor said any revenue raised by closing loopholes like preferences for the oil and gas industry should be used to pay for "tax cuts somewhere else."

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