Boehner declares tax hikes ‘off the table,’ drawing White House rebuke

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) declared Tuesday that raising taxes is “off the table” in negotiations on deficit reduction, prompting a White House complaint that such “maximalist positions” do not lead to compromise.

The White House also denounced Boehner’s demand a day earlier for more than $2 trillion in spending cuts in exchange for Republican agreement to raise the U.S. debt limit. Press secretary Jay Carney likened the demand to a hostage-taking, telling reporters, “It is folly to hold hostage the vote to raise the debt ceiling . . . to any other piece of legislation.” He said increasing the debt limit is intended to prevent the United States “from defaulting on its obligations.”

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