President Barack Obama
(Photo: Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images)
David Jackson, USA Today - THE OVAL blog
President Obama says there's a reason he's insisting on higher tax rates for the wealthy.
"It's not me being stubborn," Obama told Julianna Goldman of Bloomberg Television. "It's not me being partisan. It's just a matter of math."
The government needs more revenues to reduce its $16 trillion-plus debt, Obama said, enough to avoid massive budget cuts of major middle class programs.
Eliminating the George W. Bush-era tax rates for Americans making more than $250,000 a year will help bring in those revenues, Obama said.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other Republicans say the higher rates will kill jobs and slow economic growth; they have proposed new revenues through the elimination of tax loopholes and deductions.
Obama says that won't raise enough money, at least not without eliminating popular items like the tax deduction for charitable contributions.
Both sides face the so-called fiscal cliff, a series of tax hikes and budget cuts that will affect every American next year if the parties are unable to reach a debt reduction agreement.
The president takes his message Wednesday morning to the CEO organization known as the Business Roundtable.
Said the White House: "He will reiterate that he will not accept a deal that doesn't include higher rates on the wealthiest individuals."