By Jay Heflin - 09/09/10 09:58 PM EDT
"I don't think it's necessary to veto something that you don't think [is] ever going to reach your desk," he told reporters.
"I think a majority of those in Congress believe that we should, as the president does, extend tax cuts for the middle class and let the tax cuts for the wealthiest among us, that we can't afford, expire," he added.
Early on Thursday, Obama was pressed to answer whether he would issue a veto threat if Congress passed legislation that extended the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Obama did not take the bait and instead reiterated his concern that extending the tax cuts for the wealthy would drive up the deficit and do little to help the economic recovery.
"What I am saying is that if we are going to add to our deficit by $35 billion, $95 billion, $100 billion, $700 billion — if that's the Republican agenda, then I've got a whole bunch of better ways to spend that money," he told ABC's "Good Morning America."
Gibbs backed up the president by saying the plan espoused by House Minority Leader John BoehnerJohn BoehnerRepublican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare The disorderly order of presidential succession MORE (R-Ohio) to extend for two years the tax cuts for the wealthy would do little to help the economy.
"I don't think there is any economist that would tell you that the best way that the government could spend $100 billion to get this economy moving again is to give it to a millionaire," he said.
A one-year extension of the upper brackets would cost roughly $35 billion, and nearly $100 billion for two years when factors like inflation are considered. The 10-year cost for extending the tax cuts for the wealthy is $700 billion.
"We can't borrow $700 billion for tax cuts we can't afford," Gibbs said. "That's the president's message."