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Friday, November 16, 2012

Let The Fiscal Talks Begin

As President Obama gets set to meet with Congressional members today regarding the fiscal sanity of the country, we get some pretty good color commentary from White House pool reporters.

Just as President Obama spent his anniversary debating with presidential candidate Mitt Romney, we find that House speaker John Boehner is spending his birthday duling it out with President Obama.


The president's remarks come from pool reporter, Amy Gardner of The Washington Post.

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  "I want to welcome the Congressional leadership here and thank them for their time. I think we're all aware that we have some urgent business to do. We've got to make sure that taxes don't go up on middle class families, that our economy remains strong."

"That's an agenda that Democrats and Republicans and independents, people all across the country share. So our challenge is to make sure that we are able to cooperate together work together find some common ground, make some tough compromises build some consensus to do the people's business."

The president said folks are looking for "action."

"They want to see that we are focused on them not on the politics here in Washington. My hope is this is going to be the beginning of a fruitful process that we're able to come to agreement that will reduce our deficit in a balanced way, that we will deal with some of these long-term impediments to growth and we're also going to be focusing on making sure that middle class families are able to get ahead.""And with that we're going to get to work."

In his first news conference since being re-elected, President Obama told reporters Tuesday that Americans cannont afford tax cuts for millionaires.

"And what I have told leaders privately as well as publicly is that we cannot afford to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.  What we can do is make sure that middle-class taxes don’t go up.    I think the foundation for a deal that helps the economy, creates jobs, gives consumers certainty, which means gives businesses confidence that they're going to have consumers during the holiday season -- is if we right away say 98 percent of Americans are not going to see their taxes go up; 97 percent of small businesses are not going to see their taxes go up.   If we get that in place, we are actually removing half of the fiscal cliff". 

On a cheerier note to what will sure be the opposite as the two sides meet again of this issue, the president wished Speaker Boehner a happy 63rd birthday.

"I have one more announcement to make today, which is to wish the Speaker a happy birthday. We didn't make him a cake because we didn't know how many candles we'd need."

The two laughed and shook hands, and Boehner said, "Yeah, right."

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Congressional leaders in attendance included Secretary Tim Geithner, Speaker Boehner, The President Majority Leader Harry Reid, Chief of Staff Jack Lew, House Leader Nancy Pelosi, The Vice President Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling.

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