President Obama has reportedly assured Democrats in the House of Representatives that he will insist on raising taxes on the top two percent of earners by ending temporary tax rates enacted when George Bush was president.The tax hike would be part of a deal to raise the federal government’s debt ceiling that would include some of the spending cuts demanded by Republicans.

“I’ve been very clear about revenues as a part of a balanced package, and I will continue to be,” Obama told a closed-door meeting of Democrats, according to some of the attendees. He said he would not agree again to extend the lower rates, which he accepted last year as part of a legislative package.

According to the Huffington Post, a left-leaning online newspaper, a senior administration official paraphrased the president’s remarks as: “Whatever we agree on, we are still going to have plenty to argue about in 2012.  I’ve said I’m not going to renew the tax cuts for the top two percent.  We might agree on tax reform or simplification, but on the upper-income tax cuts we are just going to have to agree to disagree.”

A member of Congress attending the meeting said President Obama added that “he would not support extending the Bush tax cuts for the top two percent again no matter what hostages Republicans took.”

Republicans and Democrats are expected to battle all summer over a deal to raise the debt limit.  The government’s obligations are expected to exceed its cash and borrowing ability in early August.

 

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