Obama open to discussing broad tax cut extension

WASHINGTON Thu Nov 4, 2010 12:51pm EDT

A girl sits with a sign during a Tea Party tax day rally outside the Korean War Memorial in Hauppauge, New York April 15, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

A girl sits with a sign during a Tea Party tax day rally outside the Korean War Memorial in Hauppauge, New York April 15, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama is open to the idea of discussing an extension of Bush-era tax cuts for all income levels, the White House said on Thursday.

Two days after congressional elections, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs signaled that Obama might consider a compromise with Republicans that would keep tax breaks not only for the middle-class but for wealthier Americans as well.

"He'd be open to having that discussion and open to listening to what the debate is on both sides of that," Gibbs told reporters.

"Making those tax cuts for the upper end permanent is something that the president does not believe is a good idea," Gibbs said. He said he believed the discussion would take a large part of the final weeks of this year's U.S. congressional session.

The White House said the tax discussion would also be a main topic in the meeting on November 18 that Obama will host at the White House with Democratic and Republican congressional leaders.

Meanwhile, Republicans signaled their determination to push the issue of an across-the-board extension of the tax cuts that were enacted during the administration of Republican President George W. Bush.

"On the economy, we will work hard to ensure Democrats don't raise taxes on anybody, especially in the middle of a recession," Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said in the speech at the Heritage Foundation.

(Reporting by Caren Bohan, Matt Spetalnick and Kim Dixon; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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Comments (40)
RShel wrote:
“What A Difference A Day Makes”

Nov 04, 2010 12:01pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
RexMax46 wrote:
There’s no way we can have low taxes AND a balanced budget unless we cut government spending for social security, education, and most importantly, the military. And since Republicans have never seen a weapon they didn’t want to buy, McConnell might as well be promising no more homework and pizza for lunch everyday.

Nov 04, 2010 12:44pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
pburgdon wrote:
It is to bad that the President calls for a meeting to discuss working together with Republicans and the full discussion is presented by Gibbs. The teleprompter must be broken. Obama could have gotten help from Republicans all along but he would not listen. He sees himself as a GOD.

Nov 04, 2010 12:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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