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Obama, Republicans spar over Bush tax cuts

September 12, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Congress goes back into session Monday and issue number one will be income taxes, specifically controversial tax cuts enacted during the George W. Bush era.The republicans want to extend them. The President Barack Obama said it's time to let them expire for those with an income of more than $250,000.

But a top Republican Sunday seemed to open the door to a deal.

"If the only option I have is to vote for those at $250,000 and below, of course I'm going to do that, but I think that's bad policy," said Rep. John Boehner.

It was a nod to the president's plan and a strategic effort to blunt Obama's latest attack.

"So let me be clear to Mr. Boehner and everybody else: We should not hold middle-class tax cuts hostage any longer," Obama said in Ohio on Wednesday.

The president claims letting the cuts on the rich expire will give the government $700 billion to cut the deficit.

"Borrowing $700 billion to extend tax cuts that average more than $100,000 a year to millionaires, and even billionaires, is the least effective bang for the buck we have," said Austan Goolsbee, chief White House economic adviser.

Extending the cuts for everyone costs the government 3.7 trillion over 10 years.

Boehner has his sights on becoming the next House Speaker.

The Ohioan has already called for the repeal of the president's healthcare reform and the financial reform law.

The White House press secretary was quick to point to a recent New York Times article headlined, "A G.O.P. Leader Tightly Bound to Lobbyists," including those from Wall Street.

The war over taxes is just one front in the battle over how to fix the economy.

The president has proposed additional spending to stimulate the economy.

Boehner says it's time to cut spending.

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