Raise taxes on wealthiest Obama challenges GOP

first_imgWASHINGTON — In a blunt challenge to Republicans in Congress, President Barack Obama insisted Wednesday that elimination of selected tax breaks for oil companies and the super-wealthy must be included in any deficit reduction plan.At his first White House news conference in three months, Obama also called on Congress to renew a payroll tax cut that took effect on Jan 1, one of several steps he said lawmakers can take quickly to help reduce 9.1 percent unemployment.Although he declined to announce support for legalizing gay marriage, he defended his record on rights for homosexual Americans, saying he had done more to advance their cause than any of his 43 presidential predecessors.On the deficit and economy, Obama said both parties must be prepared to “take on their sacred cows” as part of the negotiations, with Democrats accepting cuts in government programs.At the same time, he said any agreement must include increased government revenue. Attempting to blunt Republican criticism, he said he also wants to extend existing middle class tax cuts.last_img read more