To paraphrase President Obama's speech on 12/4/13 to the Center For American Progress: Our strength is grounded in our individuals, civic, religious and business leaders working and making things happen. But government can't stand on the sidelines; it can and should refocus our energies on building an economy that grows for everybody. I remain confident that the future still looks brighter than the past.
.Voters have already made their voices heardAs the President said at his first press conference after the election:
If there was one thing that everybody understood was a big difference between myself and Mr. Romney, it was, when it comes to how we reduce our deficit, I argued for a balanced, responsible approach, and part of that included making sure that the wealthiest Americans pay a little bit more.
I think every voter out there understood that that was an important debate, and the majority of voters agreed with me … by the way, more voters agreed with me on this issue than voted for me.
Yet a handful of Republicans in the House of Representatives are still fighting for the same top-down approach that’s been tried—and has failed. Taxes will go up for 114 million American families if Congress doesn’t act.
Whether you voted for the President or not, he’s fighting to keep taxes low for 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses, because he believes we need to grow the economy from the middle out.
Americans Back Obama Tax-Rate Boost Tied to Entitlements
Dec 12, 2012 5:00 PM PT By Julie Hirschfeld Davis – bloomberg
A majority of Americans say President Barack Obama is right to demand that tax-rate increases for the highest earners be a precondition for a budget deal that cuts U.S. entitlement programs, a Bloomberg National Poll shows.
Just over half say Obama and Democrats are more on their side in the debate over taxes and government spending than House Speaker John Boehner and Republicans, in a survey conducted Dec. 7-10 that suggests the president has broad public backing for his stance in the deficit-reduction talks.
While Americans are divided over solutions to avoid spending cuts and tax increases slated to take effect in January if no deal is reached, majorities want the wealthy to bear the burden of such a compromise. And while more than half say Republicans were right initially to sign a pledge never to raise taxes, that includes about one-third who say things have changed and lawmakers should back away from the promise.
The results indicate a sense of urgency among Americans for an accord between Obama and Congress to avert a fiscal crisis, and a willingness to make sacrifices to strike a deal.
J. Ann Selzer of Selzer & Co., the Des Moines, Iowa, firm that conducted the poll, says the findings encapsulate American views on the fiscal debate.
“Obama won the election promising to raise taxes on the wealthy,” Selzer says. “Republicans who refuse to budge from their pledge not to raise taxes are wrong-headed. Failure to strike a deal would put the national economy and the people who live in it at risk.”
December 13, 2012 at 4:13 pm Posted by Ezra Klein – washingtonpost
complaint Republicans have about the White House is that it’s obsessed with raising taxes. But the strangest thing about the ongoing fiscal cliff talks is how little revenue the White House is demanding.
The Simpson-Bowles plan, if enacted tomorrow, would increase taxes by $2.6 trillion over the next 10 years. The Domenici-Rivlin plan would increase taxes by about $1.6 trillion over the next 10 years.
Simpson-Bowles and Domenici-Rivlin are bipartisan plans. That is, in fact, the whole reason they exist. Both are the products of commissions formed with the single purpose of figuring out what Democrats and Republicans could agree on. In both cases, that middle ground includes a very large tax increase.
President Obama isn’t a Republican politician co-chairing a bipartisan deficit-reduction project. He’s a Democratic politician who just won a very big election. He’s also a Democratic politician faced with the unusual and perhaps lucky prospect of $5.42 trillion in expiring tax cuts. To sharply raise taxes, he needs to do precisely nothing.
Some Republicans, including former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan and current New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have endorsed letting those tax cuts expire. Obama hasn’t. Still, you would expect his offer to be much higher than anything contained in the bipartisan compromise proposals. But it isn’t.
Obama’s initial revenue goal in the talks was $1.6 trillion, about equal to Domenici-Rivlin, and far below Simpson-Bowles. His latest offer to House Speaker John Boehner called for $1.4 trillion. People familiar with the White House’s thinking expect them to settle for something around $1.2 trillion.
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