Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Obama Budget Chief Defends Tax Hikes In Plan

Earlier today the Associated Press posted an article on the tax hikes in Obama’s plan, and his budget chiefs’ remarks on them. You can find a snippet of the post below, but the full text can be found here.

White House Budget Director Peter Orszag on Tuesday defended President Barack Obama's $3.6 trillion federal budget and its proposal to raise taxes on more affluent Americans.

"We have lived through an era of irresponsibility," Orszag told the House Budget Committee. "Looking forward, we must change course."

Lawmakers in both parties have questioned Obama's call to reduce high-income earners' tax deductions for the interest on their house payments and for charitable contributions. Also drawing fire is his proposal to start taxing industries on their greenhouse gas pollution — a move sure to raise consumers' electric rates.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., called Obama's plan "a truly sweeping transformation of the federal government, the likes of which we have not seen since the New Deal." Ryan also warned that tax increases on small businesses earning more than $250,000 a year would stunt a possible recovery.

But, countered Orszag, "The new administration has inherited an economic crisis unlike any we have seen in our lifetimes."

Obama dispatched both Orszag and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to Capitol Hill to defend the budget, with its proposed tax increases and the whopping $1.7 trillion annual budget deficit it would generate for 2009.

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