By Jay Heflin - 04/18/10 03:50 PM EDT
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Sunday reaffirmed President Obama's campaign pledge to let expire tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush that benefit individuals earning over $200,000 and couples making more than $250,000.
"The president is going to extend the middle class tax cuts, but he is also going to let expire the tax cuts that President Bush put in place for the 2 percent of the most fortunate Americans in our country," he said on NBC's Meet the Press. "That will provide around a trillion dollars in deficit reduction over the next 10 years."
For rank in file Democrats representing wealthier districts, allowing these tax cuts to expire is a political risk they would prefer not take. Pundits expect many of them to lose their seats in November's election.The expiration of Bush tax cuts for the wealthy would likely exacerbate the loss.
Still, Democratic leaders in Congress have signaled that tax cuts for the wealthy will expire at the end of the year unless tax writers can offset the cost of their extension. If these breaks are extended, it will likely be for 1 or 2 years since a 10 year extension would be too expensive, sources told The Hill.