The Straits Times
Published on Feb 22, 2013

Obama jabs Republicans over tax cuts for rich


WASHINGTON (AFP) - President Barack Obama on Thursday said the only thing keeping Republicans together was a desire to shield the rich from higher taxes, in a new jab over an imminent budget confrontation.

Mr Obama is mounting a full bore campaign push to heap blame on Republicans over a multi-billion dollar package of automatic spending cuts due to hammer the United States (US) economy on March 1.

The president wants to replace the cuts with a balanced set of spending cuts and revenue hikes obtained by closing tax loopholes, but Republicans in Congress are resisting the idea of higher taxes.

"My sense is that their basic view is that nothing is important enough to raise taxes on wealthy individuals or corporations," Mr Obama said, adding that Republicans prefer spending cuts even though they could slow economic growth.