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Obama now says he's 'agnostic' on possible tax hikes for households below $250K/yr

WASHINGTON - President Obama says he is now "agnostic" about raising taxes on households making under $250,000 a year to help cut budget deficits, signaling a possible retreat from a campaign pledge.

In an interview with Bloomberg BusinessWeek on newsstands Friday, Obama said a presidential budget commission needs to look at all options for deficit reduction - including tax increases and cuts in spending on such programs as Social Security and Medicare.

"The whole point of it is to make sure that all ideas are on the table," Obama said. "So what I want to do is to be completely agnostic, in terms of solutions."

Obama repeatedly vowed during the 2008 campaign to spare households earning less than $250,000 a year from tax increases.

When top economic officials last August suggested going back on the pledge, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs quickly reiterated the promise.

Meanwhile, Obama Wednesday won over skeptical African-American leaders who agreed to join his effort to get Congress to pass a jobs bill.

At times, black leaders have criticized Obama for failing to address their community's hardships, but they insisted they put all that aside yesterday.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2010/02/10/2010-02-...



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