Obama: U.S. can't afford across-the-board tax hike

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says he will not agree to any budget deal that extends current tax rates for the wealthiest taxpayers and says their rates should rise to help raise revenue.

Obama says his stand was validated by voters in the election because he specifically ran on an agenda of letting the existing rates for the top 2 percent of income earner rise to Clinton-era levels.

Congressional Republicans have said they would be willing to include new tax revenue in a deficit reduction deal. But they have been adamant that the tax rates themselves must not increase.


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