HTML text to normal text

I would like to take text that was rendered into HTML text and create a string that includes all of the HTML tags.

I my swf loads text containing HTML tags from external file
swf displays text as htmlText into an input box
user edits text
(ok so far)
swf then gets the text with HTML tags and sends to external file.

Currently when I do this it strips out the HTML tags.


var html_string:String = "<b>blah</b>";
inputTextBox.htmlText = html_string;

var html_string2:String = inputTextBox.text;


so you see it strips out the HTML tags. Thus the malfunction when I save and reload it to an external file.

Any help of suggestions here would be greatly appreciated.