DEFICIT WOES

Pressure Mounts to Raise Taxes

President Obama pledged during the campaign to not raise taxes on the middle class and the White House has insisted that it will remain the case despite rising deficits and new spending to finance. "The administration is very concerned about these [future] deficits, and getting those deficits under control is a top priority of the administration," budget director Peter Orszag told reporters this week. How they will do so is another story, however, and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has avoided giving a clear answer to questions about potential tax increases. Budget analysts say that options are limited. "If you rule out inflating our way out of the problem and defaulting on the debt, there are two ways: Cut spending or raise taxes," William G. Gale, an expert on fiscal policy at the Brookings Institution, told The Washington Post. Gale added that cutting spending was extremely difficult in comparison, given large commitments to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, as well as defense spending.