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Geithner Advocates for Letting Tax Cuts Expire for Wealthiest

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner vowed that tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans would expire and expressed confidence that Congress would soon pass a package of small-business tax measures.

Geithner said on ABC’s “This Week” that tax cuts enacted during the George W. Bush administration will remain in place for 95 percent of Americans, and he argued that allowing the cuts to expire for the top tier of taxpayers would help drive down the deficit without dampening an economic recovery.

“It’s responsible to let the tax cuts expire that just go to 2 percent to 3 percent of Americans, the highest-earning Americans,” he said.

“We need to make sure we can show the world that they’re willing as a country now to start to make some progress bringing down our long-term deficits. … I do not believe it will have a negative effect on growth,” he added.

He also said Congress would “absolutely” pass a package of tax measures for small businesses before the 2010 elections.

Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Geithner said economic recovery was under way and downplayed the prospect of a second stimulus package. The private sector is cautiously adding jobs, he said, but the federal government is not yet off the hook.

“There are more things Congress can do to help reinforce this recovery,” he said.

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