Obama, Romney Wrangle Over Differing Tax Plans

President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney sparred in the first presidential debate over their differing approaches to growing the economy.

Obama said that Romney's tax agenda would not reduce the deficit. He says it would include a massive tax cut for the wealthy and more military spending.

The president cited former President Bill Clinton, suggesting the nation should return to the Clinton-era tax rates he says would lead to economic growth.

Obama maintained simple "math" and "common sense" show Romney's approach is not a recipe for job growth.

Romney countered by saying virtually everything Obama said about his tax plan is inaccurate. Romney held firm to his plan, saying it will cut taxes, reduce spending and grow the economy.

"I will lower taxes on middle income families," Romney said.

Obama said United States is making progress in repairing the struggling economy he inherited when he took office while Romney, argued the Democratic incumbent favors a "trickle-down government, if you will."

Obama pointed to progress made in saving Detroit's auto industry and rebuilding the housing market. Romney, meanwhile, said he would take a different path that gets government out of the way for American businesses.

Obama told the audience during the debate Romney's plan would cut taxes for high-income workers. Romney disagreed, saying wealthy Americans will do just fine regardless whether he or Obama is in the White House.

Romney vowed to repeal Obama's health care law, saying it adds costs to the health system and has led to Medicare cuts.

Romney said Obama spent his energy pushing through a massive health care law rather than trying to fix the struggling economy.

Romney said it's expensive, and expensive things hurt families.

Obama responded by saying his administration worked on the health care law at the same time he was working to create jobs. He said the law has helped people with pre-existing conditions and those who have children under age 26.

The president also said he based the law on Romney's own plan when he was governor.

"We've seen this model work really well -- in Massachusetts," Obama said.