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Utah's chief economist: Letting tax cuts expire could leave $2 billion hole in Utah economy

Published: Thursday, Dec. 6 2012 6:10 p.m. MST

Obama has said it's unacceptable for some Republicans in Congress to "hold middle-class tax cuts hostage" because they don't want to raise taxes on the wealthy, which include about 13,000 Utah families.

The president's plan to raise income tax rates on the rich would return the rates to what they were in the Clinton administration, when the economy created 23 million jobs, including 267,900 private sector jobs in Utah, according the White House.

In the weekly GOP address, Sen. Orrin Hatch called Obama's fiscal plan a "classic bait and switch."

Raising the top two marginal tax rates would put nearly a million businesses and 700,000 jobs at risk, Hatch said. Rather than raising taxes on the rich, he said Congress  should enact comprehensive tax reform that would generate more revenue and create jobs.

Some Democrats are proposing a "disastrous Thelma and Louise strategy" that would put "millions of middle-class families, small businesses and our already weak economy in further jeopardy," the senator said.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said during a CNBC interview Wednesday that the Obama administration is "absolutely" prepared to go over the "fiscal cliff" if Republicans do not agree to tax the wealthiest Americans.

Hatch called it the "most stunning and irresponsible statements I’ve heard in some time. Going over the fiscal cliff will put our economy, jobs, people’s paychecks and retirement at risk, but that is what the White House wants, according to Secretary Geithner, if they don’t get their way."

E-mail: romboy@desnews.com, Twitter: dennisromboy

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