News Column

Obama: Spending Cuts and Closing Loopholes Are How to Reduce Debt

February 4, 2013

US President Barack Obama said Sunday there's no doubt the US government needs additional revenue to pay off the government's debt, but said new taxes weren't the way to do it.

Instead of raising taxes again, Obama said "smart spending reductions" could be coupled with closing loopholes that he suggested allow wealthy Americans to manipulate their tax rates.

"I don't think the issue right now is raising (tax) rates," Obama said in an interview with CBS Evening News.

Last month Obama signed into law a deal that raises taxes on families making more than 450,000 dollars a year. The law averted the so-called fiscal cliff that would have meant automatic tax increases and spending cuts.

Wealthy people with "a lot of accountants and lawyers" can take advantage of the loopholes and deductions, while the average person can't, he said.

Obama granted the interview to CBS ahead of its broadcast of the Super Bowl, the championship game in American professional football.

The White House said Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were hosting a Super Bowl party for friends and family, where speciality food and beer from the home towns of the two finalist teams, the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers, were to be served.

In the interview Obama also said he did not oppose the admission of homosexuals into the Boy Scouts. The 103-year-old organization's national board this week is to consider whether to lift its blanket prohibition on gays at a meeting that opens Monday in Irving, Texas.

"My attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does, in every institution and walk of life," Obama said.

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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