Obama: Some Dems say tax deal makes sense

Dec. 8, 2010 at 4:42 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- The more critics of the tax deal struck with congressional Republicans read the bill, the more their concerns will be allayed, President Obama said Wednesday.

"I think it is inaccurate to characterize Democrats, writ large, as feeling, quote-unquote, 'betrayed,'" Obama said during a media availability with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski. "I think Democrats are looking at this bill -- and you've already had a whole bunch of them who've said this makes sense. And I think the more they look at it, the more of them are going to say this makes sense."

Economists have looked at the proposal and said it would boost the economy and increase the likelihood of driving down unemployment. Among other things, the deal would extend tax rates enacted during President George W. Bush's administration for all brackets -- including high-end taxpayers -- extend unemployment insurance and tax breaks in the 2009 stimulus package, and provide a 2-percent reduction in the payroll tax.

CNN reported Larry Summers, Obama's top economic adviser, said if the bill doesn't pass, the likelihood increases that the economy will stall and the country will experience a double-dip recession.

"So this is the right thing to do. I expect everybody to examine it carefully," Obama said. "When they do, I think they're going to feel confident that, in fact, this is the right course, while understanding that for the next two years we're going to have a big debate about taxes, and we're going to have a big debate about the budget, and we're going to have a big debate about deficits."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he was working within the framework of the bill presented to lawmakers "to see if we can get some changes."

The Senate could take up the bill "in the next day or two," Reid said in a media availability.

Repeating a point he made Tuesday during a news conference, Obama said Republicans "are going to have to explain to the American people over the next two years how making those tax cuts for the high end permanent squares with their stated desire to start reducing deficits and debt. I don't think that formula works, but they'll have the opportunity to make the case."

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