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Obama tax stance reaffirmed

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a rebuke to the Treasury secretary, the White House said Monday that President Barack Obama remains opposed to any tax hike for families earning up to $250,000.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs restated the assurance after Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and National Economic Council Director Larry Summers appeared Sunday to leave open the possibility Obama would tap middle-class Americans' income to reduce the deficit or help pay for a health insurance overhaul.

"I'm going to deal with this and I'll do this one more time," Gibbs said after repeated questions from reporters about the differences between the economists and Obama. "The president was clear. He made a commitment in the campaign. That commitment stands."

The conflicting statements illustrate the problem facing Obama: how to find a politically palatable way to pay for the health insurance overhaul he insists is the cornerstone to bringing the rapidly escalating federal deficit under control.