MARIA BARTIROMO: So does that mean extending the tax cuts?PRES. BILL CLINTON: Well, I think what it means is they will have extend-- they will probably have to put everything off until early next year. That's probably the best thing to do right now. But the Republicans don't want to do that unless he agrees to extend the tax cuts permanently, including for upper income people.And I don't think the president should do that. That's going to-- that's what they're fighting about. I don't have any problem with extending all of it now, including the current spending level.
So that’s why I believe it’s time to let the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans -- folks like myself -- to expire. (Applause.) And, by the way, I might feel differently -- because it’s not like I like to pay taxes -- (laughter) -- I might feel differently if we were still in surplus. But we’ve got this huge deficit, and everybody agrees that we need to do something about these deficits and these debts. So the money we’re spending on these tax cuts for the wealthy is a major driver of our deficit, a major contributor to our deficit, costing us a trillion dollars over the next decade.By the way, these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans are also the tax cuts that are least likely to promote growth. So we can’t afford to keep that up, not right now. So I’m not proposing anything radical here. I just believe that anybody making over $250,000 a year should go back to the income tax rates we were paying under Bill Clinton -- back when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history, and plenty of millionaires to boot.