WASHINGTON (AP) - The big late-summer tax cut debate picked up steam today, with House Republican leader John Boehner (BAY'-nur) and the White House trading barbs over economic policy.
Boehner sent a signal on CBS's "Face the Nation" that he'd be open to a tax cut only for middle-class people if Democrats don't back down on their opposition to cuts for the wealthy as well.
President Barack Obama's spokesman, Robert Gibbs, put out a statement saying Boehner's comments were encouraging.
But Gibbs also chided the Ohio Republican for helping lead a party that "got
us into this mess."
Then Boehner fired back in early evening with an additional response, saying that raising taxes on anybody in this recession "is the exact wrong thing to do." He accused the administration of engaging in "class warfare."
The tax "increase" actually would result from a failure by Congress to extend sweeping tax cuts for all Americans, which were enacted during George W. Bush's administration.
Those lower rates are due to expire at year's end.