Obama Says He's 'Agnostic' on Middle-Class Tax Hike
Wants all options on the table to cut deficit
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2010 8:49 AM CST
President Barack Obama gestures during the daily press briefing, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010, in the White House press briefing room in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – President Obama said Tuesday that he is "agnostic" about tax hikes for households making less than $250,000 a year, because he needs to consider all possible options for reducing the deficit. “What I can’t do is to set the thing up where a whole bunch of things are off the table,” the president told Bloomberg. “There are going to be some that say we can’t look at taxes, and pretty soon, you just can’t solve the problem. So what I want to do is to be completely agnostic, in terms of solutions.”

Obama promised during the 2008 election campaign not to raise taxes on individuals making less than $200,000 or households earning less than $250,000 a year. Going back on that pledge would be politically risky for the president, but many economists say it is necessary. “It’s just not possible to get the revenue you need" from higher taxes on the wealthiest alone, a tax policy expert said.