President Obama reiterated his demand for tax rate increases on the wealthy, but said that he would reject a Republican concession on tax rates if they did not also raise the debt ceiling.
“We’re not insisting on [raising] rates just out of spite or any partisan bickering, but rather because we need to raise a certain amount of revenue,” Obama said this morning during the Business Roundtable. “If we can get the leadership on the Republican side to take that framework, to acknowledge that reality, then the numbers actually aren’t that far apart.”
The president added that he would not allow Republicans to agree to a deal to raise tax rates if they punted on other budgetary issues under the expectation that they could “try to extract more concessions with a stronger hand on the debt ceiling” this spring.
“If Congress in any way suggests that they’re going to tie negotiations to debt ceiling votes and take us to default once again as part of a budget negotiation,” he said, “I will not play that game, because we’ve got to break that habit before it starts.”