Under Pressure from CNN, Obama Admits Wanting to Raise Taxes
It took a couple of tries, but CNN "American Morning" co-anchor John Roberts got Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama to admit what people probably already knew - Obama wants to raise taxes.
Obama appeared in an interview with Roberts on the January 9 "American Morning" fresh off his second place finish in the New Hampshire Democratic primary. He told Roberts high taxes were in the best interest of the American economy.
"Well, I think that there's no doubt that letting the Bush tax cuts on the top 1 percent lapse would not have, I think, a significant impact on the economy, but would bolster our fiscal situation," Obama said. "We continue to run big deficits - our national debt has increased drastically. That is not good for our long-term economic security."
On the issue of recession, Obama said he wasn't concerned with what the technical definition is. He said he was more concerned with how people "feel," which is the same sentiment CNN senior business correspondent Ali Velshi expressed on the October 18 "American Morning."
"You know, I'm less concerned about the technical definitions of a recession than I am with all the people I meet who are struggling every day and they have been struggling for many years," Obama said. "Even when the economy looked like it was doing well on paper and Wall Street was flush with cash, people feel that they're working harder for less."
Obama continued his class warfare rhetoric by saying the economy needed to be rebuilt-he didn't mention the nation's still relatively low 5 percent unemployment and 4.9 percent gross domestic product growth in the third quarter of 2007.
"They are having a tough time hanging on to health care," Obama said "College is less affordable and it's harder to save and harder to retire. So, we've got to rebuild our economy and that means providing tax relief to people who really need it as opposed to the wealthiest Americans and corporations who are exploiting tax loopholes."
In April, Obama unveiled his health care plan that was estimated to cost between $50 billion to $65 billion a year - financed largely of course by eliminating the 2001 Bush tax cuts, which is essentially a tax increase.