Axelrod: Tax Hikes Not a Given in Deficit Reduction Plan

Posted January 24, 2010 at 12:00pm

Just because President Barack Obama has embraced the idea of creating a bipartisan commission to tackle ways to eliminate the federal deficit doesn’t mean that tax hikes are inevitable, White House senior adviser David Axelrod said on network talk shows Sunday.

“I’m not going to pre-judge what any commission would do,— Axelrod said on CNN’s “State of the Union,— adding that Obama is committed to reducing taxes for lower- and middle-income families and small businesses.

“We can’t play games with this,— Axelrod said. “Whatever the appropriate approach is [to reduce the deficit], the president is going to go about it.—

But Republicans have been skeptical about a Senate bill to create the deficit commission, and many have suggested that as long as Democrats are in charge in Washington, D.C., tax increases are certain to be part of the solution.

“I don’t see any stomach in the administration or by our friends across the aisle to make the tough cuts,— said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), also speaking on CNN. Hatch added that he’s inclined to vote against the proposed commission.

But Axelrod countered that assuming tax hikes will be the inevitable recommendation of a commission — before it has even been approved or formed — “is part of the Washington game.—