Obama defends deal with Republicans on tax cut

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says a deal he hasstruck with congressional Republicans on renewing Bush era tax cutskeeps his 2008 promise to protect the middle class from an increasein tax rates.

Appearing at a news conference, Obama said he believes "my jobis to do what's right for the American people."

He said that "because of this agreement, middle class Americanswon't see their taxes go up on Jan. 1."

Obama spoke amid criticism from fellow Democrats and liberalorganizations who charge that he caved in to Republican demands forkeeping existing tax rates intact for the wealthy. Obama vowedTuesday to fight any long-term protection of the wealthy againsthigher rates.

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