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By Randall Mikkelsen
WASHINGTON Nov 23 U.S. President-elect Barack
Obama may consider delaying a campaign promise - to roll back tax
cuts on high-income Americans - as part of his economic recovery
strategy, two aides said on Sunday.
David Axelrod, the Obama campaign strategist who was chosen
to be a senior White House adviser, was asked if the tax cuts
could be allowed to expire on schedule after tax year 2010
rather than being rolled back by legislation earlier. "Those
considerations will be made," he said on "Fox News Sunday."
Bill Daley, an adviser to Obama and commerce secretary
under former President Bill Clinton, said on NBC's "Meet the
Press" that the 2010 scenario "looks more likely than not."
President George W. Bush's tax cuts are set to expire at the
end of 2010. After that they would revert to 2001 levels, when the
top individual tax rate was 39.6 percent.
Obama has called for reducing taxes for the middle class,
but requiring the wealthiest Americans to pay more than the
current top rate of 35 percent.
His aides' comments suggest Obama may be wary of imposing
any additional tax burden at a time of deep crisis, despite the
outlook for record budget deficits and mounting national debt.
He may also be seeking to bolster Republican support for his
"The main thing right now is to get this economic recovery
package on the road, to get money in the pockets of the middle
class, to get these projects going, to get America working again,
and that's where we're going to be focused in January," Axelrod
Obama said on Saturday he was crafting an aggressive
two-year stimulus plan to revive the economy, aiming to save
2.5 million jobs by January 2011 through projects including
transportation infrastructure, school modernization and
Obama called in October for a $175 billion stimulus measure,
but he suggested he was ready to push for a much larger package.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat who is part of
the majority leadership team in the Senate, told ABC's "This Week"
that an economic recovery package between $500 billion and $700
billion is needed and could be ready by the time Obama takes
office on Jan. 20.
"I think it has to be deep. In my view it has to be between
five and seven hundred billion dollars," Schumer said.
(Additional reporting by Donna Smith; Editing by Doina Chiacu)