Robert Gibbs Signals Temporary Extension of All Tax Cuts

Listen closely to Robert Gibbs on "GMA" this morning and it’s pretty clear that the only outstanding question on those tax cuts expiring on December 31st isn’t whether they will all be extended but for how long.

President Obama’s only “line in the sand”, according to Gibbs, is opposition to “permanent” extension of the tax cuts for the wealthy.

“The president’s principals are clear, and that is for the middle class their taxes can’t go up at the end of the year when a series of tax cuts expire. His other line in the sand, quite frankly George, is that many Republicans would like to see the tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires extended permanently,” he told me.

Everything else is on the table. So I asked Gibbs about a possible trade. Would the President swap a temporary extension of the tax cuts for passage of the START Treaty and extending unemployment benefits?

“Well, I want to put these two issues aside George, because I think that we have a responsibility, Democrats and Republicans, to figure out this tax issue by the end of the year when tax cuts are said to expire,” he said.

So Gibbs didn’t bite, but I’ll bet the final compromise looks something like that –anchored by a three year extension of the tax cuts.

Watch the whole interview here:

-- George Stephanopoulos

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