Obama adviser Gibbs digs in on raising taxes on high-income earners

Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs on Sunday pressed to allow the Bush-era tax rates for wealthy earners to expire, escalating a clash with congressional Republicans who vow to extend the current levels for everyone.

Asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” if President Obama is committed to allowing the rates to go up for people making above $250,000-per-year, Gibbs replied: “Let’s make some progress on our spending by doing away with tax cuts for people who quite frankly don’t need them, tax cuts that haven’t worked and have them pay their fair share.”

{mosads}The comments by Gibbs, a senior campaign adviser and former White House press secretary, came shortly after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) used an interview on the same program to call again for extending all the current rates for a year. The Bush-era rates are slated to expire at year’s end.

McConnell said this should be coupled with a “hard requirement” to tackle comprehensive tax reform.

But Gibbs pushed back against GOP calls for an across-the-board extension of the Bush-era rates.

“We should protect the tax cuts for the middle class and we should let tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires expire,” he said.

“We want to do something about this deficit, and we ought to protect middle class tax cuts, and the best way to do that is let the upper end tax cuts expire, let the wealthy in this country that have been doing fine for years and years and years begin to pay their fair share,” Gibbs said, claiming Obama is “100 percent” committed on the matter.

This post was updated at 3:47 a.m. on July 9.

Tags Mitch McConnell

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