Could a compromise be reached over tax cuts?

U.S. President George W. Bush addresses a rally at Lafayette Regional Airport in an effort to sell his tax cut plan to the American people 09 March 2001 in Lafayette, Louisiana.

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

JEREMY HOBSON Looks like a bipartisan compromise on the Bush Tax cuts is coming together. It would likely include an extension of unemployment benefits and perhaps an extension of tax credits that were included in the stimulus package last year.

Marketplace's David Gura is covering this story for us in Washington and he's with us now. Morning, David.

DAVID GURA: Good morning, Jeremy.

HOBSON: So bring us up to date. Where do negotiations stand?

GURA: Well, the Senate rejected President Obama's proposal, to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for individuals making less than $200,000 a year, and families making less than $250,000 a year. Over the weekend there was a compromise plan that was floated, some senators thought that those numbers were too low, that they should extend the tax cuts for Americans making less than a million dollars a year. That plan didn't get through the Senate either. So, what we're seeing now is a lot of wrangling. There's talk of, maybe, extending the Bush-era tax cuts temporarily, say, for two or three years. I talked to Len Burnan. He's a professor at Syracuse.

LEN BURNAN: The only thing I worry about is that, is the slippery slope. I think that the republicans are clearly are hoping that at the end of a couple years, they'll have the White House and the Senate as well as the House, and then they can make everything permanent.

HOBSON: So this story continues. Now David, we've been hearing about extending unemployment benefits as part of this package, about the different income tax levels that you just talked about. But now there appears to be another point of negotiation, extending the Obama tax credits. Tell us about that.

GURA: Right. One of the concessions they want is for Congress to extend a series of tax credits that were part of the economic stimulus package, that was passed last year. The big one is the Making Work Pay tax credit. That amounts to about 400 bucks for individuals. $800 for married couples. A host of other credits for the working poor. For college students. For adoptive parents. And the administration is weaving these two things together. The Bush-era cuts and the Obama tax credits.

HOBSON: Alright we'll be watching. Marketplace's David Gura, in Washington. Thanks, David.

GURA: Thanks Jeremy.

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