Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner attacked the Bush administration's tax policies as "misguided," saying that renewing the Bush tax cuts for the highest-earning Americans would worsen the budget deficit.
Extending the cuts would force the government to borrow further and impede more effective measures to stimulate economic growth, Reuters reported.
"Borrowing to finance tax cuts for the top 2 percent would be a $700 billion fiscal mistake," Geithner said. "It's not the prescription the economy needs now, and the country can't afford it."
President Barack Obama has said that he wants to renew the Bush tax cuts for all but the highest-earning Americans. Republicans and some Democrats have charged that raising taxes on anyone would harm the economic recovery.
Geithner Slams Bush Policies, Calls for Tax Cuts to Lapse