Gei­th­ner: It’s good to scrap some tax cuts

Austin American-Statesman - - WORLD & NATION - By Christi Par­sons

ing Amer­i­cans, Gei­th­ner said, while send­ing an im­por­tant mes­sage to the world about WASHINGTON — As the com­mit­ment to fis­cal austerWhite House geared up for­ity.a fight to end the Bush ad­min“We think that’s the re­spon­is­tra­tion’s tax cuts, Trea­sury sible thing to do,” Gei­th­ner Sec­re­tary Ti­mothy Gei­th­ner said, speak­ing to Jake Tap­per said Sun­day that al­low­ing the on ABC’s “This Week.” “We ex­pi­ra­tion of those tar­geted at need to make sure we can show wealthy Amer­i­cans was “the the world that we’re will­ing as re­spon­si­ble thing to do” and a coun­try now to start to make would not de­ter eco­nomic some progress bring­ing down growth. our long-term deficits.”

The pres­i­dent’s plan would But Repub­li­cans and even end tax cuts for only 2 or 3 some Democrats are un­sure per­cent of the high­est-earn-about the wis­dom of rais­ing taxes at this point in the eco­nomic re­cov­ery. Among those af­fected by the in­creases would be busi­ness own­ers, brac­ing for the tax hit at ex­actly the moment when eco­nomic re­cov­ery de­pends heav­ily on whether they cre­ate jobs.

The tax cuts will ex­pire next year, if Congress and the pres­i­dent don’t act to ex­tend them. Repub­li­cans and some Democrats fa­vor con­tin­u­ing them all, at a cost of adding at least $2 tril­lion to the fed­eral deficit over the next 10 years.

Gei­th­ner, who also spoke on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said he didn’t think there was a chance that all of the Bush tax cuts would sur­vive, even for a year or two.

“I don’t be­lieve it should,” he said, “and I don’t be­lieve it will.” Obama has sup­ported con­tin­u­ing only those for lower-in­come and mid­dle­class work­ers, which would cost slightly less. He has sug­gested keep­ing the cuts in place for in­di­vid­u­als mak­ing less than $200,000 a year and for fam­i­lies earn­ing less than $250,000.

The brew­ing fight is stoked by the fact that ev­ery mem­ber of the House and a third of the Se­nate is on the cam­paign trail now. Repub­li­cans hope to take con­trol of one or both cham­bers from Democrats in the Novem­ber elec­tions, at the mid­point of Obama’s first term. The party in con­trol of the White House his­tor­i­cally loses sev­eral seats at the midterm.

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