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Obama rejects Boehner’s counteroffer, demands tax rate increase

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

President Obama rejected the counteroffer from House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, saying the Republican plan to avert the fiscal cliff is “out of balance” and fails for lack of tax rate increases.

“Unfortunately, the Speaker’s proposal right now is still out of balance,” Obama told Bloomberg TV. “We’re going to have to see the rates on the top 2 percent go up, and we’re not going to be able to get a deal without it,” he also said.

Obama said that his plan — he had Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner demand that Republicans raise taxes on the wealthy, increase stimulus spending, and give him permanent, unilateral power to raise the debt ceiling — would help the economy.

“I think that businesses are going to be ready to hire, we’re seeing pretty strong consumer confidence despite weaknesses in Europe and even in Asia,” he said. “I think America is poised to take off.”

Boehner’s offer went for $2.2 trillion in deficit reduction, in part by raising taxes $800 billion, though without a tax rate increase. The proposal has already generated a conservative backlash in his own party.

“Everyone knows that when you take money out of the economy, it destroys jobs, and everyone knows that when you give politicians more money, they spend it,” Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., said. “This is why Republicans must oppose tax increases and insist on real spending reductions that shrink the size of government and allow Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money.”

You can read more of Obama’s comments from the Bloomberg interview at The Huffington Post.

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