President Obama said he would veto legislation that would extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts, Fox news reported.
Obama has proposed extending the tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000 for another year, the Chicago Tribune reported. Obama said it would be imprudent to extend all of tax cuts – including those for upper income earners – because they were a major driver of the budget deficit (Note: Obama's complete remarks are attached to this story).
"By the way, these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans are also the tax cuts that are least likely to promote growth," Obama said. "So we can't afford to keep that up, not right now. So I'm not proposing anything radical here. I just believe that anybody making over $250,000 a year should go back to the income tax rates we were paying under Bill Clinton."
Obama said his plan still would maintain the cuts for 98 percent of Americans.
The tax cuts will expire for all Americans without congressional action on Jan. 1, the Tribune reported. Politico reported that Republicans in the House are planning a vote later this month to extend the tax cuts across the board for one year, something Obama says he would veto.
Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucy, said Obama's plan was based on politics, not economics. USAToday quoted McConnelll as saying "In the Obama economy, we need policies that are designed to create jobs. Not designed to protect his."
The newspaper also quoted House Speark John Boehner, R-Ohio: "How will these small business tax hikes create jobs?"
Obama said the plan would not hurt small businesses: "The proposal I make today would extend these tax cuts for 97 percent of all small business owners in America. In other words, 97 percent of small businesses fall under the $250,000 threshold. So this isn’t about taxing job creators, this is about helping job creators."