Officials say Obama to play hardball on 'fiscal cliff' matters
Thursday, October 18, 2012 1:59 PM
Administration officials said President Barack Obama is ready to play hardball and is prepared to veto legislation to block year-end tax hikes and spending cuts unless Republicans agree to raise tax rates for the wealthy, The Washington Post reported.
Taxes are scheduled to rise dramatically in January for people at all income levels. Because Republicans will be unable to stop automatic increases alone, Obama may be able to write the terms of a bipartisan debt-reduction deal if he wins re-election.
If Obama loses to Republican candidate Mitt Romney, he could make sure that tax rates rise before Romney is inaugurated in late January.
Administration officials did not say whether the veto threat will stand if Obama loses the election.
On Dec. 31, the Bush tax cuts, which decreased rates at all income levels, will expire. Obama and fellow Democrats want to extend the cuts for income under $250,000 a year, which would maintain the low rates for about 97 percent of taxpayers.