During an interview with Bloomberg today, President Obama said he’s still willing to reach a compromise with Republicans to avert the fiscal cliff, but only if they’re willing to raise tax rates on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.
“What I’m going to need, what the country needs, what the business community needs to get to where we need to be, is the acknowledgement that folks like me can afford to pay a little higher rate,” Obama said. “It’s not me being stubborn, it’s not me being partisan; it’s just a matter of math.” He added that the GOP proposal to raise $800 billion in new tax revenue by closing some loopholes and eliminating some deductions would not be enough to reach his goal of up to $1.6 trillion over the next decade.
The president said he’s willing to consider new ideas, including changes to entitlement programs, but made clear that he will not budge on his proposal to seek higher income-tax rates for top earners. He did, though, say that if Republicans agreed to raise rates on top earners now, they could look at ways to reduce rates when they return to tackle tax reform next year. - See more at Bloomberg
GET READY FOR THE BLAME GAME Americans’ faith in Washington is dwindling as fiscal talks remain at an impasse. Just four in ten Americans expect lawmakers to reach a compromise before year’s end to stave off the spending cuts and tax hikes slated to take effect Jan 2, a new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll shows.
If the pessimistic public is correct and lawmakers remain gridlocked, the poll found that the majority of Americans stand ready to lay the blame on congressional Republicans. - Read more at The Washington Post
McCONNELL: NOTHING TO SEE HERE Confirming the suspicions and fears of many observers of the fiscal fight in Washington, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday that behind-the-scenes talks between House Speaker John Boehner and White House officials have stalled after each side presented its offers. “Frankly I had hoped we would be accomplishing more in the real talks that are going on privately but I can tell you, being aware of those, there’s nothing going on privately that’s not going on publicly,” he said. “We’ve wasted an enormous amount of time here sparring back and forth in public.”
McConnell was among conservatives to distance themselves from House Speaker John Boehner’s counterproposal offered to the White House on Monday.
- Read more at The Hill
STATES PLEAD THEIR CASE The mounting pressure of the fiscal cliff is wreaking havoc on states’ economies, a bipartisan group of six governors told Politico after meeting with President Obama on Tuesday. The governors pressed the president to reach a compromise with Congress as soon as possible. “You’ve got to come together and get this done,” Utah’s Republican Gov. Gary Herbert said. “This impacts the economy. The uncertainty out there is creating havoc with the economy in our states.”
The governors said they weren’t endorsing either proposal that was put forward by the president or Republicans in the past few days, and are just urging the lawmakers to reach a compromise soon. - Read more at Politico
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