NYT | Obama’s right about raising taxes or something

After a few days of public dancing around by members of Congress on the fiscal-cliff talks, the most important, immediate thing Mr. Obama did was to be unequivocal about his bottom-line position: the Bush tax cuts for the middle class should be extended right now, with the rest allowed to expire, and then he is willing to talk about closing tax loopholes, and tax reform and spending cuts.

“What I’m not going to do is to extend Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent that we can’t afford and, according to economists, will have the least positive impact on our economy,” Mr. Obama said. After the campaign, Mr. Obama said, “this shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody,” noting that more Americans said they favored a tax increase on the rich than actually voted for him.

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