Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Obama Says ‘Robust’ Growth Will Prevent Tax Increases


President Barack Obama said he is “confident” that he won’t have to raise taxes on most Americans to close the budget deficit as long as the economy picks up steam.

“One of the biggest variables in this whole thing is economic growth,” the president said in an interview with Bloomberg News at the White House. “If we are growing at a robust rate, then we can pay for the government that we need without having to raise taxes.”

Obama has repeatedly said he would keep his campaign pledge to cut taxes for 95 percent of working Americans while rolling back tax breaks for households making more than $250,000 a year.

“I’m confident that we don’t have to raise taxes on ordinary working families,” he said.

The U.S. economy shrank at a 5.7 percent annual pace in the first quarter, reflecting declines in housing, inventories and business investment. Growth is expected to turn positive in the second half of the year, accelerating 0.5 percent from July through September and 1.9 percent in the final three months of this year, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 62 economists. The median forecast for growth next year is 1.8 percent, according to the survey.

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