Obama Wants Quick Bill to Head Off Tax Increases

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama issued a stern summons to congressional leaders Friday to approve legislation before year's end to prevent tax increases on millions of middle-class Americans and prevent an expiration of long-term unemployment benefits for the jobless.

One day after House anti-tax rebels torpedoed Republican legislation because it would raise rates on million-dollar-earners, Obama said he still wants a bill that requires the well-to-do to pay more. "Everybody's got to give a little bit in a sensible way" to prevent the economy from pitching over a recession-threatening fiscal cliff, he said.

He spoke after talking by phone with House Speaker John Boehner -- architect of the failed House bill -- and meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

"I still think we can get it done," Obama said as he struggled to pick up the pieces of weeks of failed negotiations and political maneuvering.

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  • Report this Comment On December 22, 2012, at 8:29 AM, dba3 wrote:

    why is it that all the conservation is about taxes but nothing is being said about reducing spending?

  • Report this Comment On December 22, 2012, at 1:22 PM, eddietheinvestor wrote:

    I agree with dba3. We keep hearing about raising taxes, which I have no problem with. But there is no talk about where spending will be cut. How about raising revenue and taxes but with an equal amount of spending reduction--with the spending reduction occurring at the same time as--and not after-- raising the tax rate on those making $250,000 or more. I keep hearing over and over again about the president's proposals to cut spending, but these proposals are never put in writing or shared with the public. It sounds specious. Both sides need to be more transparent and up front.

  • Report this Comment On December 22, 2012, at 1:58 PM, NOTvuffett wrote:

    President Obama initially came with a proposal- raise taxes on the wealthiest, no commitment to any spending cuts, and give him unilateral control on the debt limit. Honestly, I felt like I was living in a third world dictatorship when I heard that. It made me embarrassed for my country.

    I think most people would be OK with tax increases as long as the spending and debt issues were being addressed in a meaningful way.

  • Report this Comment On December 23, 2012, at 5:48 PM, kthor wrote:

    Obama is raising taxes so he won't need to cut spending ...

  • Report this Comment On December 23, 2012, at 8:31 PM, stiff5555 wrote:

    Same old dems. Create a crisis that only "they" can fix. Make it seem like now or never and scare people into accepting short term fixes instead of long term solutions so they can just cycle another emergency later on. Once you realize this money can be made!

  • Report this Comment On December 23, 2012, at 8:56 PM, RouteReflector wrote:

    Wow, these comments.

    - the fiscal cliff was a bipartisan effort.

    - neither side has presented specifics in regards to spending cuts. They've been negotiating amounts and have yet to agree on amounts for either tax raises or spending cuts.

    - Obama campaigned on both raising taxes AND cutting spending - he even specified a ratio.

    - the idea to move debt limit responsibility to the Executive was originally a Republican idea.

    - the President can't present himself a bill to sign. Congress has to do that.

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