Geithner presses case for renewing middle-class tax breaks

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By Brady Dennis
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 26, 2010

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner took the lead Sunday in continuing the Obama administration's push for extending middle-class tax cuts while allowing similar cuts for the nation's wealthiest individuals to expire in January.

Appearing on two Sunday talk shows, Geithner pressed the case for renewing tax cuts for families making under $250,000 a year.

"The president believes, and I believe, this is the right thing for the country," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

The tax cuts, put in place between 2001 and 2003, have become an intensely political topic ahead of the congressional elections this fall. Republicans have argued that extending the full spectrum of tax cuts is essential to strengthening the sluggish economic recovery.

Geithner rejected that notion, telling ABC's "This Week" that letting tax cuts for the wealthiest expire would not hurt growth. He said Sunday that he expects Congress to act before the November elections.

President Obama has argued that the Republican approach would deepen the nation's already massive deficit. On Saturday, the president used part of his weekly address to chide House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (Ohio) and other Republicans who oppose the administration's approach, saying the GOP was pushing "the same policies that led us into this recession."

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