November 11th, 2010
09:17 AM ET
12 years ago

Axelrod says Obama will agree to extend tax cuts for wealthy

Washington (CNN) – The White House is signaling that it is willing to negotiate on extending the Bush tax cuts, even for the wealthiest Americans, in order to deliver on its promise to extend tax cuts for middle class Americans.

In an interview with the Huffington Post on Wednesday, White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod seemed to open the door to the extension of the cuts for American households making more than $250,000 a year, citing the poltical reality that has resulted from the loss of Democratic seats in Congress in last week's midterm elections.

Extending tax cuts for the top income bracket had previously been a red line the administration refused to cross.

"We have to deal with the world as we find it," Axelrod said in the interview. "The world of what it takes to get this done."

There are concerns," he said about Congress continuing to kick the issue down the road by passing temporary extensions for wealthy Americans each time the issue emerges. "But I don't want to trade away security for the middle class in order to make that point."

Throughout his campaign, and the first two years of his administration, President Obama has said he wanted to keep the tax cuts passed by the Bush administration in place for income levels clocking in at less than $250,000. Extending them for the wealthiest Americans would add another $700 billion to the deficit the administration has said.

"The president has been clear that extending tax cuts for middle class families is his top priority and he is open to compromise to get that done," White House Deputy Communications Director Jen Psaki said in a written statement Thursday morning.

A spokesman for likely House Speaker John Boehner praised Axelrod's position in a statement:

"Republicans made a pledge to America to permanently stop all of the tax hikes scheduled for January 1st. We're glad to see that the President's most trusted advisor now agrees with this course of action, and hope he and the President will show leadership by convincing Speaker Pelosi to stop these tax hikes permanently in the upcoming lame duck session," said spokesman Michael Steel.

Filed under: President Obama • Taxes
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Justin

    This is awful news. When is the president going to stand firm on something? Anything! When you never make a stand, your opponents just continue to push you around because they know that in the end you will cave. I'm an independent that favors the democrats and to me this is getting embarrassing.

    Stand firm on no tax cuts for the wealthy or let the whole thing expire. We've had ten years of tax cuts for the rich and the question remains, where are the jobs? If the tax cuts are supposed to enable the rich to create jobs for us all, just look at the last ten years, it hasn't happened. So we should do the next best thing, let the rates rise and get the deficit reduced.

    November 11, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. Terry in Iowa

    I don't get it. 10 years of the "Bush Tax Cut", 8 million jobs gone, record debt and deficits. Meanwhile the rich hoard the wealth or send it overseas. The wealth they've largely gained off the backs of the American worker and exploiting the resources of this great country. Spin it anyway that makes you feel good, but facts are facts. WHERE are all the jobs GW and the Republicans promised these tax cuts would create? Next to the WMD, I'd guess. Yes there has been a redistribution of wealth, for 30 years the American “nobility” has siphoned it away from the working class.

    November 11, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. kay hetrich

    PLease DO NOT INCLUDE THE WEALTHY IN THE TAX RELIEF BILL! Stand up to the Republicans and fight for the middle class. The American people do not know that 95% of them will keep their tax cut! (Why is this? LIstening to rich commentators who want tax cuts)) These Americans go like lemmings to the sea. The rich are not going to create new jobs, they could have done that already if they so desired . The bottom line is Make More Money. If one looks at tthe income charts. the t op 1% is way, way up! Where is the middle? barely making increase.

    November 11, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  4. doight

    I am an ardent Obama supporter but if he extends additional tax cuts to incomes above 250,000 he shouldn't be re-elected. If he can't deal with something that has such support as not extending tax cuts to start deficit reduction he should be replaced by Hillary Clinton. He should pass tax cuts for the middle class in the lam tope duck and then let the republicans pass them in the Congress and block it in the Senate after that. If Axelrod is right they are all pussies.For god sake Obama sometime you have to lay it on the line! You are starting to look like a joke.

    November 11, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  5. jd

    How are the tea party freaks gonna twist this one against Obama?

    November 11, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
1 2 3