White House mum on tax cut if no deal to pay costs

November 30, 2011 • Business

Alan Krueger, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers listens at left as White House Press Secretary Jay Carney speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House refused to say Tuesday whether President Barack Obama would agree to payroll tax cuts if they add to the nation’s deficit, as the top Senate Republican predicted lawmakers eventually would reach an agreement to prevent taxes from increasing on 160 million Americans.

The tax cut is set to expire at the end of the year, raising taxes by about $1,000 on the average household unless Congress and Obama act. As the deadline approaches, political support is building for at least continuing the tax cut — and thereby heading off a politically bruising tax hike. But the holdup remains on how to offset the cost.

Obama spokesman Jay Carney said the president prefers that lawmakers find a way to pay for the cuts that does not add to the federal debt. Indeed, Obama has Login to read more

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