President Barack Obama maintained that the tax compromise he reached this week with Republicans was more important to put money in the hands of Americans than wage a principled, losing fight.
Obama is getting fire from his own party about the tax deal.
If Congress accepts the deal, income tax rates will stay the same, but Social Security payroll taxes will be cut from 6.2% to 4.2%. It means $1,000 to someone making $50,000 a year.
The tax deal is partly to keep tax rates at present levels, and extend unemployment checks for up to 99 weeks.
Obama expressed to fellow Democrats that it does no good to be “sanctimonious about how pure our intentions are” if it means extinguishing a nascent economic recovery because the alternative was tax hikes for all earners on Jan. 1.
The deal with Republicans meant Obama agreed to accept extending lower tax rates for wealthier Americans, which he didn’t want.
The cost of the deal is more than $760 billion over two years.