THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT IN Q&A WITH THE PRESS The South Lawn
12:50 P.M. EDT
Q Mr. President, can you talk to us?
Q Can you accept Senator Boren's entitlement cuts?
Q What's your reaction to Senator Boren's compromise with Danforth?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, my first reaction was that it was a huge shift in lowering taxes on people with incomes above $100,000 and hurting people, both elderly people and working people just barely above the poverty line. It's basically a $40 billion shift away from wealthy Americans right on to people just above the poverty line -- the elderly and the working poor. So I don't think that's -- I don't support that. I think that's a mistake.
Q Would you rule out that kind of compromise to get rid of the energy tax?
THE PRESIDENT: I think that that is not a good thing to do, if you read the details of it. Obviously, the main purpose of some of them is to do away with the BTU tax; but the mechanics shift over $40 billion away from people with incomes above $135,000 down to people -- elderly and working people just barely above the poverty line. I don't think that's good. There is also another provision which, if it's implemented in the way they propose, would continue to shift health care costs onto private citizens and private employers, which would hurt the economy and hurt jobs. So those are the two things which concern me.
Otherwise, I'm glad to have people talking and coming up with new ideas. But those are bad things.
Q have you essentially heard enough --
THE PRESIDENT: I can just tell you what -- I've given you my answer. I don't think we should be -- make -- look, we had 12 years where we made this economy more unequal and unfair. And to move $40 billion off of upper income people to people barely above the poverty line it seems to me is not a good way to go.
END12:55 P.M. EDT