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Obama Calls for Limited Tax Deal to Avoid Fiscal Cliff

by Keith Koffler on December 21, 2012, 5:51 pm

President Obama today called on Congress to reach a deal that would raise taxes without including wide ranging spending cuts, saying Republicans must pass what they agree with Democrats on – protecting the middle class from having its tax rates increase.

“There is absolutely no reason – none – not to protect  (middle class) Americans from a tax hike,” Obama said during a hastily called appearance in the White House briefing room. “At the very least, let’s agree now on what we already agree on.”

Obama said lawmakers should relax for now, but return to Washington immediately once a deal is struck.

“Everybody can cool off – everybody can drink some eggnog, have some Christmas cookies, sing some Christmas carols,” Obama said.

However, reaching a deal that raises taxes on the wealthy would harm the economy, in the view of Republicans, and eliminate the leverage Republicans have to force large cuts in entitlement spending.

Obama’s move suggests he is upping the ante and will press the House to agree to legislation that raises taxes on those who make more than $250,000 per year, even though Republicans Thursday balked at a bill that would set the threshold at $1 million. Obama seems to be strategizing that he can either pick off some Republican lawmakers for the Democratic plan or have the country blame House Republicans if the nation goes over the fiscal cliff.

Obama said extensions of unemployment benefits should be part of the package.

{ 15 comments }

srdem65 December 21, 2012 at 6:02 pm

They called his bluff and he folded like a cheap lawn chair.
He wasn’t adressing the nation, he was trying to reassure the big money guys that he’s willing to try to fix this thing.

Martha Trowbridge December 21, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Actually, not the big money guys you think. The ‘occult’ big money guys who put him into office – aka global communists. They’re tired of waiting on him to totally wreck America.

rexbob December 21, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Now he can go jump on AF1 and have fun in the Sun.

Martha Trowbridge December 21, 2012 at 6:24 pm

My, my, isn’t Obama generous to ‘permit’ Congress to celebrate Christmas!

The past three Christmases, he held them hostage in DC through Christmas Eve.

mo1 December 21, 2012 at 6:32 pm

i am sorry. Can someone explain what Obama compromsied on, what he gave up? A promise to talk in the future, that is all I see.

srdem65 December 21, 2012 at 6:55 pm

He implied that he will sign what they’ve already agreed upon, that he’ll give up his desire for unlimited spending, that he’s willing to talk about reducing the ‘debt’ with spending cuts.
He’s begging them to come back to DC before the end of the year and if they do, he’ll be there to make an agreement; (meaning he’ll cut his own vacation short).

Star December 21, 2012 at 7:45 pm

He did not say that–what was HE compromising? He did not say OK, we can continue to raised the debt ceiling bit by bit etc.

Sadie December 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Meet President Capone….

. . .Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn’t reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault.

At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, “I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?”

“You get nothing,” the president said. “I get that for free.”

AnotherOpinion December 21, 2012 at 7:17 pm

The only thing Obama is willing to sign is allowing the Bush tax breaks on those who earn $250, 000 or less. There is NO compromise, only his majesty’s edict.. His “willingness” to “talk” will cease if Congress caves, He will beat them about the head and shoulders and crow until roosters turn to hens.His desire for unemployment is as foolish as his desire to have absolute authority over the debt ceiling. It is time for Americans to go back to work. They will not do that as long as Uncle Barack pays them to sit home.
He is not willing to make any cuts or compromises. Obama owns this mess. His refusal to work across the aisle and to belittle and harangue anyone who opposed any facet of his agenda has created this miasma.
Boehner needs to remember that he retained control of Congress because Americans do not want raised taxes. Harry Reid is making NO effort to work with Congress. He and Obama OWN this mess.

Not Nabob December 21, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Whoa, there pardner. Remember it’s not the boss-man that is at fault, nowadays, it’s the other guy who did it.

gracepmc December 21, 2012 at 8:28 pm

At this point, if you are receiving endless unemployment benefits you should be considered a government employee.

Julie Brueckheimer December 21, 2012 at 8:43 pm

No spending cuts, no way!

Jeff1000 December 22, 2012 at 7:31 am

The problem is spending so why would Obama propose spending cuts?

ArnoldLayne December 21, 2012 at 10:28 pm

It’s bad politics and bad policy for the R’s to continue to hold out on so-called no new taxes. The law is about to expire. For the second time. It’s always been temporary.
Let it expire for the marginal rate over $400,000.
Make the other rates permanent.
Get the most budget cuts possible for now.
Enjoy New Year’s Eve.

Sadie December 22, 2012 at 7:36 pm

The tax cuts have been in place for ten years. How long is temporary?