Obama Campaigns for Plan to Avoid Fiscal Cliff

Posted November 30th, 2012 at 4:50 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama is making a campaign-style trip Friday aimed at winning public support for his plan to avert a potential fiscal crisis.

Mr. Obama's visit to a toy factory in Pennsylvania is part of a series of public events to sell the nation on his strategy to avoid the $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases set to take effect January 1.

Congressional Republicans say there is little progress in resolving the partisan stalemate over how to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff.”

House Speaker John Boehner said he was “disappointed” after speaking with the president late Wednesday and meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Thursday.

“No substantive progress has been made in the talks between the White House and the House over the last two weeks.”

Boehner, the leader of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, criticized the president for staging gatherings of taxpayers this week who support his call for eliminating tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

“Listen, this is not a game. Jobs are on the line, the American economy is on the line, and this is a moment for adult leadership. Campaign-style rallies with one-sided leaks to the press is not the way to get things done here in Washington.”

The forced spending cuts would affect important defense and domestic programs, while the question on the tax cuts is whether they should be extended beyond their scheduled December 31 expiration.

The Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid, said, “We are still waiting for a serious offer from Republicans.”

Mr. Obama, a Democrat who is newly re-elected, is seeking to end the tax break for the wealthiest Americans. But his Republican opponents say ending that tax cut would curtail creation of more jobs.

Wednesday, Mr. Obama urged the Republican-controlled House to quickly approve a Senate-passed measure that would extend the tax cut for those making less than $250,000 annually. He said the White House and lawmakers could then deal with other aspects of the dispute over government spending and taxation.

“And since we all theoretically agree on that, we should go ahead and get that done. If we get that done, a lot of the other stuff is going to be a lot easier.”