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Obama: Americans Agree with My Approach on Deficit

President ObamaBy ANDREW TAYLOR and JULIE PACE

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama, laying down his marker for grueling "fiscal cliff" negotiations, said Friday he won't accept any approach to federal deficit reduction that doesn't ask the wealthy to pay more in taxes.

"This was a central question during the election," Obama said in his first postelection comments on the economy. "The majority of Americans agree with my approach."

The president, speaking in the White House East Room, said he wasn't wedded to every detail of the plans he outlined during the election, adding, "I'm open to compromise." But he offered no indication that he was willing to back down on his insistence that the wealthy pay more.

Republicans stood their ground. At the Capitol, Republican House Speaker John Boehner said he remains unwilling to raise tax rates on upper-income earners. But he left open the possibility of balancing spending cuts with new revenue that could be achieved by revising the tax code to lower rates and eliminate some tax breaks.

Obama said he had invited congressional leaders of both parties to the White House next week to start negotiations on averting the tax increases and automatic spending cuts due to hit in January. Both parties agree that those changes, the result of failed deficit-cut talks earlier this year, could send the economy back into recession.

The president avoided any mention of specific tax rates in his remarks, saying only that the wealthy should pay more. He also called on Congress to quickly pass an extension of tax cuts, first enacted by George W. Bush, for families making less than $250,000 a year.

Republicans, as they have throughout Obama's first term, say raising tax rates on wealthier Americans is a non-starter. Boehner said such increases would hurt small businesses just as they are trying to recover from the severe last recession.

"I'm proposing that we avert the fiscal cliff together in a manner that ensures that 2013 is finally the year that our government comes to grips with the major problems that are facing us," the speaker said. He said cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps, known as entitlement programs, have to be part of the equation.

Still, Boehner declined to provide specific proposals to avoid the fiscal cliff.

He did say that raising the debt limit, which the government will reach sometime in the spring, should be part of any negotiations. Pressed for details beyond that framework, he said he didn't want to limit ideas to address the problem. He burden is on Obama, he said.

"This is an opportunity for the president to lead," Boehner said. He repeated a version of that phrase four times during the 11 minutes he spoke. "This is his moment to engage the Congress and work toward a solution that can pass both chambers."

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rcalley1

Obama's plan is to tax 100% everyone, take it into the US treasury and then dole it out to everyone according to their own needs! Oh that sounds like Marks! YEP!

November 16 2012 at 1:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
COMMON SENSE

iF YOU COLLECT WELFARE AND REFUSE TO WORK YOU ARE A BUM.

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.

........Abraham Lincoln

November 15 2012 at 11:33 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to COMMON SENSE's comment
freethedems2012

Such a wise man. Libs love him but don't believe him, I guess.

November 15 2012 at 12:48 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
blopez401k

I have a funny feeling that there is alot of bantering going back and forth over the wrong stuff. The reality (my case) is that if we go over the "fiacal cliff" and let the current tax reductions expire the reality is that my taxes are going to go up around 48 to 50%. I'm a middle class guy. A professional yes as is my wife but we are middle class all the same. This 250k number they (dems and reps) throw around like a beach ball on a windy day is not a number that makes sense. If you look at what my family pays on an annual basis 32,000 (fed) 11,000 (state) misc sales and use taxes not to mention the almighty federal and state usage, excise and access fees the real tax bill is fast approaching 50%. To increase my tax bill (fed only) some 14 or 15k per annum (tax adjustment due to expiration of current tax stauts) is usuary at best. Let's start paying close attention folks. I think alot of us are missing the real costs and pointing fingers at this guy or that guy does not put forth constructive conversation on what need be done. Taxing the rich? I'm not rich, you?

November 14 2012 at 12:07 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
freethedems2012

Funny, Obama is out of touch. He thinks because the welfare bums elected him, the rest of us approve of his financial fiasco.

November 12 2012 at 10:01 PM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to freethedems2012's comment
PeopleSmoks

Who are you calling a welfare bum?

November 13 2012 at 12:13 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to PeopleSmoks's comment
freethedems2012

Not a welfare bum, People? Then you are a Commie.

November 13 2012 at 6:12 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down
jdykbpl45

Didn't Americans elect a Republican House?

November 12 2012 at 7:33 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jdykbpl45's comment
republicansrdead

That was back in 2010. What have they accomplished? A new record low approval rating since they came into office in 2010. America has had enough of obstruction from the republican house. Look how fast things can change in two years.

November 12 2012 at 10:04 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to republicansrdead's comment
freethedems2012

Cut out the loopholes. A flat tax would be even better.

November 12 2012 at 6:26 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
donut999

This is way beyond agreeing with anyone's approach. By sheer necessity, something has to be done before the cliff gets higher with even more rocks on the bottom. Not all problems have readily available solutions. This one has 2 simple, unequivocal ones. Increase revenues and cut spending. One will not work, both have to engage. Ironically, all they have to do is nothing. Let the CR plan kick in with expiration of the 10 year tax cut for all, 2 years late, and implement the across the board spending cuts. Did anyone really think we are going to get out of this deep hole without some pain?

November 12 2012 at 4:28 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jmjpf

I like that. I want to reach across the aisle and work with the other side, but only if we do it my way. I never thought I would feel fear and despair for our country.

November 12 2012 at 4:10 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
freethedems2012

Welfare bums don't care if there is a deficit.

November 12 2012 at 2:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to freethedems2012's comment
michelebachmann9

We republicans didn't care about the deficit under Bush but we do care about it under Obama. Does that mean Im a hypocrite?

November 12 2012 at 5:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to michelebachmann9's comment
freethedems2012

Dumbocraps just want control at any price. They will buy it with the taxpayer's money. Disgraceful.

November 12 2012 at 6:13 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down
rankincap

Mr. President you received 50.6% of the popular vote. Govern and work as if you got lucky and that half the country does not agree with your policies. This is not a winner take al.

November 12 2012 at 2:44 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rankincap's comment
juststeve35

Truth...

Would F&F if this side of the wall allowed for it.

November 13 2012 at 10:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply