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Obama stresses importance of extending Bush tax cuts to middle class

by Adam Russett on November 12, 2010

In an effort to turn back Bush-era policies, President Barack Obama announced Friday that he would work to extend the tax cuts given to the wealthy to the middle class. Obama told reporters in Seoul, South Korea, that he plans on meeting with Republicans about how to handle the tax breaks for the country's richest citizens, USA Today reports.

Obama's plan would curtail tax cuts for individuals who make $200,000 a year, and couples who make $250,000 a year. Allowing the Bush policies to expire, Obama says, will help the U.S. reduce the deficit that has ballooned over the last decade, and he urged Congress to make the legislation a priority in the coming weeks.

Top Republican leadership disagrees however, with House Speaker-in-waiting John Boehner maintaining that nobody's taxes should be raised in a weakened economy, regardless of income. Still, Obama is hoping to reach a compromise with the GOP.

"I continue to believe that extending permanently the upper-income tax cuts would be a mistake and that we can't afford it," Obama told reporters. "And my hope is, is that somewhere in between there we can find some sort of solution."

Although he may be trying to reach a middle ground with Republican party, some analysts believe that Obama supporters are discouraged by the fact that he is not being more forceful with his legislative agenda. Earlier in the week Obama's top adviser, David Axelrod told The Huffington Post that the White House may have to at least temporarily continue the cuts for the wealthy because it is the only way to help out the middle class.

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

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