Clyburn: Obama must 'prioritize'

Nov. 9, 2008 at 9:45 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- A leading House Democrat suggested Sunday an Obama administration might defer raising taxes on the top 5 percent of U.S. wage earners.

Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., was asked whether Democrats might not be able to follow through on campaign positions -- including President-elect Barack Obama's proposal for increasing taxes on top wage-earners -- given the widening economic crisis.

"Well, I think you have to prioritize, and prioritizing means that you took them in order of importance, and you don't have to defer what is the interest primarily," Clyburn said.

He said items like infrastructure and job creation should be high priorities.

"I really believe that we have done all we need to do for the financial communities with that $700 billion program," he said. "The emphasis at this point has got to be on the middle class."

Appearing on the same program, Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., was asked whether he would favor a $100 billion stimulus program.

"I think it needs -- would depend on the specifics that might be included in that program, but I think some sort of stimulus is appropriate," Martinez said. "I would love to see it focused on home ownership, on getting back to the basics of what got us into this financial crisis in the first place, which is displaced homeowners, continuing rise in foreclosures, things of that nature."

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