Obama's Not Through Raising Taxes: 'No Doubt We Need Additional Revenue'

February 4, 2013 - 6:01 AM

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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden discuss passage of the tax-hike/fiscal cliff bill in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(CNSNews.com) - President Obama has said all along he isn't done raising taxes on wealthy Americans, and he said it again in an interview that aired on CBS during the Super Bowl.

A month after signing a bill that raised tax rates on families making $450,000 or more (and individuals making $400,000-plus), the president said he now wants to close "loopholes."

'I don't think the issue right now is raising rates," Obama said. The goal now is to find "smart spending cuts," "reduce health care costs," and "close loopholes and deductions."

"If you combine those things together, then we can not only reduce our deficit, but we can continue to invest in things like education and reserach and development
that are going to help us grow," Obama told CBS's Scott Pelley.

"There is no dobut we need additional revenue coupled with smart spending reductions in order to bring down our deficit. And we can do it in a gradual way so that it doesn't have a huge impact," he added.

Obama twice drew distinctions between "average Americans" and rich people who "take advantage" of perfectly legal tax rules.

The president said he wants to close loopholes for "folks who are well connected and have a lot of accountants and lawyers...so they end up paying lower rates than, you know, a bus driver or a cop."

A short time later, Obama again set the "average person" against those who are "able to take advantage."

"When you look at some of these deductions that certain folks are able to take advantage of, the average person can't take advantage of. The average person doesn't have access to Cayman Island accounts, the average person doesn't have access to carried interest income, where they end up paying a much lower rate on billions of dollars that they earned. So we just want to make sure that the whole system is fair, that it's transparent, that we're reducing our deficit in a way that doesn't hamper growth...."

In closing "loopholes" and raising revenue, Obama has the support of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Reid told ABC's "This Week" that any deal to avoid the sequester (deep, automatic spending cuts to defense and non-defense budgets) "without question" would have to include new revenue (more taxes).

Host George Stephanopoulos pressed Reid on that point: "So your position on lifting the sequester, on avoiding a government shutdown, on extending the debt limit beyond August is any one of those deals must include new revenues?"

"Yes," Reid replied. "The answer is definitely yes. And I've got a pretty good fan base for that, the American people: Republicans, Democrats and independents."