President Barack Obama will enter high-stakes budget negotiations firmly committed to seeing the tax rates for high-income earners rise to pre-George W. Bush levels, he assured a gathering of progressive and labor leaders on Tuesday.
"I am not going to budge," he told the group, according to an
attendee who relayed material from the meeting on condition of
anonymity. "I said in 2010 that I'm going to do this once, and I meant
The White House did not immediately return a request for comment, but
two other sources who attended the meeting confirmed the quote. The
administration seems to have staked out a firmer position than during
the first stand-off over the Bush-era tax cuts, in November and December
of 2010, leaving the impression that it won't sign off on a compromise
that doesn't increase the tax burden on the wealthy as a means of paying
down the deficit.
How the president plans to effect that outcome is still unclear. Top
Democrats in the Senate have said they would be comfortable letting all
the tax rates expire -- as they are scheduled to do -- at the end of the
year, after which they will put together a tax cut bill that would
re-establish the Bush-era rates for incomes below $250,000. POST