Obama 'pretty confident' GOP will surrender on taxes on rich

Washington, Dec. 12 (ANI): President Barack Obama expects Republicans to agree not to extend Bush-era tax rates for the rich, as the White House and the House GOP exchanged their latest offers towards a deal.

"I'm pretty confident that Republicans would not hold middle class taxes hostage to trying to protect tax cuts for high-income individuals," Obama said in a White House interview with ABC News's Barbara Walters.

"I don't think they'll do that," he added.

According to the report, while Obama voiced confidence that current tax rates would be extended only on income up to 250,000 dollars, he signaled that what's coming may not be the blockbuster agreement he has indicated he wanted.

"I'd like to see a big package," he said, adding: "But the most important thing we can do is make sure that middle class taxes do not go up on Jan. 1."

White House press aides haven't had much to say about Obama's conversations with Boehner-including his Sunday meeting with the speaker-and the president didn't have much more to add.

"I think the tone was good," he said, adding: "I believe that both Speaker Boehner and myself and the other leaders want to see a deal happen. And the question now is can we get it done. The outlines, the framework of what a deal should look like are pretty straightforward."

Obama also indicated he's open to cutting entitlements in exchange for limiting tax hikes to high-income earners, the report said.

"If the Republicans can move on [taxes], then we are prepared to do some tough things on the spending side," he said.

"Taxes are going to go up one way or another. And I think the key is that taxes go up on high-end individuals," he added. (ANI)