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Harvard Economist Challenges Obama on Bush Tax Cuts


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Townhall:

Intending to talk about colleges and worker training, President Barack Obama on Monday suddenly found himself in a spirited, election-year debate with a business advisory group about whose tax cuts should be extended and for how long.

At a meeting of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, Harvard economist Martin Feldstein pressed Obama to keep all the Bush-era tax cuts, not just the middle-class cuts the president wants to extend.

"That would give a boost to confidence," Feldstein declared. SEC Chairman William Donaldson added that an extension would allay business and consumer uncertainty.

Obama replied that his stand would benefit 98 percent of American taxpayers. "You'd think (that) would provide some level of certainty," he said.

Obama also reiterated his view that top-income tax brackets would do little to boost the recovery, since the wealthy aren't holding off buying flat-screen TVs and other big-ticket purchases for lack of a tax cut. Plus, he said, those tax cuts are unaffordable.

"If we were going to spend $700 billion, it seems it would be wiser having that $700 billion going to folks who would spend that money right away," he said.snip
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