The White House today drew a line on the sand on eliminating the Bush tax cuts for high income earners, refusing to consider allowing the tax cuts to remain in place as part of a deal to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”
Speaking in the East Room, Obama said the people had spoken in favor of his position:
I am not going to ask students and seniors and middle-class families to pay down the entire deficit while people like me, making over $250,000, aren’t asked to pay a dime more in taxes. I’m not going to do that. (Applause.)
And I just want to point out this was a central question during the election. It was debated over and over again. And on Tuesday night, we found out that the majority of Americans agree with my approach — and that includes Democrats, independents, and a lot of Republicans across the country, as well as independent economists and budget experts. That’s how you reduce the deficit — with a balanced approach.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Obama would veto any legislation that maintained the upper inc0me tax cuts.
Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner told ABC news that raising income tax rates was “unacceptable,” suggesting the two sides are far apart from a compromise to avoid massive, injurious cuts in spending.
Raising tax rates is unacceptable. … Frankly, it couldn’t even pass the House. I’m not sure it could pass the Senate.
Obama will meet with Congressional leaders next week.