Obama Defends Tax Cut Plan in News Conference

President Obama today defended his compromise plan to extend the Bush tax cuts, insisting in a news conference, "This isn't the politics of the moment, this has to do with what can we get done right now."

Yesterday, Mr. Obama unveiled a tentative deal with Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts -- set to expire at the end of the month -- for two years. The plan would extend all of the tax cuts, even though Mr. Obama promised on the campaign trail to let them expire for the wealthiest Americans in the name of fiscal responsibility. The deal also includes a one-year extension of unemployment benefits and a payroll tax cut, among other things.

Mr. Obama yesterday said it was time to end the "stalemate" over the Bush tax cuts, but the plan has been met with acrimony from both the left and the right.

The plan costs a hefty $900 billion over two years -- and none of it is paid for, creating a stark contrast to the calls for deficit reduction from both the president and members of Congress have made this year. But some contend passing tax cuts will politically benefit the president and his party.