Back in 2008 Barack Obama said it was hurtful to raise taxes during a recession.
He also spoke out about the negative affects of running a high deficit.
Democrats say they want to raise as much as $1 trillion in new revenues through tax reform later this year to balance Republican demands to slash mandatory spending.
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Democratic leaders have had little time to craft a new position for their party since passing a tax deal Tuesday that will raise $620 billion in revenue over the next 10 years.
The emerging consensus, however, is that the next installment of deficit reduction should reach $2 trillion and about half of it should come from higher taxes.
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This sets up tax reform as one of the biggest fights of the 113th Congress, which began on Thursday.