President Obama repeated his central position on taxes Monday, saying that Bush-era, income-tax cuts should be extended for the middle class—”the people whose wages didn’t rise”—but not the top earners because doing so would cost the federal government $700 billion in lost revenue.
“It is an irresponsible thing to do,” he said, adding “I can’t give tax cuts to the top 2 percent of Americans…and lower the deficit at the same time, I don’t have the math. I would love to do it.”
Taxes—particularly those on personal income—are the hot-button issue of the midterm election, with current and former Washington leaders weighing in on a daily basis.
The president made his remarks during a live one-hour town hall program on CNBC Monday.