Obama to hit the road to avoid driving off the fiscal cliff
November 27th, 2012
06:00 AM ET
1 year ago

Obama to hit the road to avoid driving off the fiscal cliff

(CNN) – As negotiations continue over how to thwart the looming crisis known as the fiscal cliff, President Barack Obama will take his case on the road this week, urging Americans to support his push to let tax rates rise on the wealthiest Americans.

The president will tour a manufacturing facility and give remarks in the southeastern Pennsylvania town of Hatfield on Friday, the White House announced Tuesday. The campaign-style trip comes as another example of the president building pressure on Congress through public support, rather than the behind-closed-doors approach used in last summer's debt talks.

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Friday's trip will follow a week of meetings with other constituencies. He'll meet with small-business owners from across the country on Tuesday and host an event at the White House on Wednesday with "middle-class Americans who would be impacted" if Congress fails to reach a deficit-reduction agreement by the year's end.

Also Wednesday, Obama is scheduled to meet with business leaders. He took part in similar meetings with labor groups and business heads two weeks ago, shortly before he held a meeting with congressional leaders in the White House.

The clock is ticking as Congress and the White House work to hash out a plan that would prevent an enormous amount or "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and spending cuts from taking place next year.

Both sides are stalemated over how to raise revenue as part of a deficit-reduction package. House Republicans call for changes in the tax code - namely the closing of loopholes and limiting of deductions - while Senate Democrats and Obama argue for the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts for households making more than $250,000.

While talks are ramping back up after the holiday break, a second meeting between the White House and congressional leaders has yet to be scheduled, though the president did reach out on Saturday to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid about their efforts to avert the draconian cuts and tax hikes.

However, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney suggested in the daily briefing on Monday that holding direct talks with lawmakers might not be the best strategy for the president's agenda. Carney pointed to Obama's meetings with labor and business groups as a way to put indirect pressure on Congress.

Carney said "the notion that you can solve all problems over a cocktail" with politicians is somewhat overrated. Instead, he added that "engaging with not just the denizens of Washington but with the broader American public is very important to (Obama)."

"I think that some of the lessons that we learned over the last four years have to do with always being mindful of the fact that engaging the public on these sometimes chewy policy debates is important because they care," Carney continued. "And they have a deep stake in the outcome of the debate, so we'll continue to do that."

Last week, Obama's former campaign manager, Jim Messina, said the president's re-election campaign and its grassroots resources will "live on," most likely as a tool to promote the president's second-term policies.

Obama for America, the name of the campaign, already released an e-mail to its distribution list, educating readers on the president's fiscal cliff argument and rallying supporters to get behind him.

– CNN's Ashley Killough, Ted Barrett, Lesa Jansen, Martina Stewart and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • President Obama
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. Name J

    Americans should organize a citizens march on congress to let them know they need to do whats right for us and america. That what they ask us to give up they to should be willing. Their pensions, health benefits, pay raises, etc. Their terms should also be limited like the presidents.

    November 27, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. Barney

    I say they let taxes increase on everyone for one year, while cutting spending on everything except education, medicare, and social security. That would decrease our deficit by $1 trillion in 1 year. We all made this mess to some extent....the blind leading the blind pretty much. We can bite the bullet for a year. Then, go back to Big B's plan of keeping the increase on the 1%, decreasing it for everyone else, and continuing to be very frugal in government spending.

    November 27, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. JCT

    House Republicans call for changes in the tax code – namely the closing of loopholes and limiting of deductions – while Senate Democrats and Obama argue for the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts for households making more than $250,000.

    Yeah.... um... let's do all three. Thanks.

    November 27, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  4. Whybs_on_twitter

    Take small steps, one at a time – pass the tax cuts for the middle class; let the tax cuts for the rich; cut entitlement and defense equally; implement technology and processes to take fat and abuses.

    President Obama, Let's build a strong America! :)

    November 27, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. del

    Obama's plan is only to tax the rich, what else does he propose? Let's hear the plan, with a budget.

    November 27, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. Nametodd harrison

    Ok, there are ideas that are batted around for increases in revenue... it will happen. Are the Dems going to pull a George Bush "the elder"... promise to cut spending to increase taxes... and do nothing? I wish the Dem leadership would go on record that they are serious this time... or they will OWN the $20 Trillion debt that we will have.

    November 27, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. aCriticalEye

    SuperD STOP watching Faux Noise, give up the "entitlement' nonsense. Our country is built on give and take, we Americans call it compromise. IF YOU Go=p/Tea Nuts dont come up with something YOU will be the real big losers.

    Personally, I say let the Bush era tax breaks expire for all. Bring it, it will hurt but we will adjust.

    November 27, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. Ken b

    The strategy worked during the election. The people have spoken and support the president. Red states voted blue in some cases leading me to believe that there is lots of support for protecting the middle class and making the 2% pat their fair share.

    November 27, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  9. Darryl

    Same song different vs. the GOP is willing to find the President his revenue via limited tax exemptions and closing loop holes, but the President doesn't know the word compromise.

    While he's out stumping the easy part ... getting 95% of the population to agree that 5% of the population should pay more in taxes he's not telling any of us what tax cuts he's will to make to get us the other 343 days of the year that we are spending more than we are bringing in.

    November 27, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  10. Rob

    Exactly right "Penquin"..

    November 27, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. LINDA OPERLE

    Super D I have a much better place for your finger and you have only to bend over. It is not taxing the wealthy it is asking the wealthy to pay a fair share. I'm sorry People like Romney going out and saying he paid 14% when the rest of us are above 20% Is not fair. Put that finger on the calculator and do the math.

    November 27, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. NinjaScott

    @SuperD maybe you should take another look at history my friend. Trickle down economics starting with Reagan have statistically shown to be a failure while bloating the debt/deficit. This notion that Democrats 'tax and spend' simply isn't true... I'm not a blind supporter of Obama or the Democratic party. Both parties have their flaws. Economically speaking over the past 30 years it's the GOP that has inflated the debt/deficit, not the other way around. How about the GOP tries to work with the president and if the economy doesn't show signs of improvement we can try and do it 'your way'. If I were a betting man I'd say the economy will improve and this frightens those who believe in a GOP ideology of rich people needing to be free of regulation and the government

    November 27, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  13. OldCactus

    This last twelve months saw the national debt rise by about 1.1 trillion dollars. Obama's proposal to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire on all those who make over $250,000 will increase our tax revenues by approximately 8 billion dollars. Is this supposed to solve all our problems? What percentage of 1.1 trillion do you think 8 billion represents? If we go over the fiscal cliff we will automatically have to increase taxes and reduce spending by 500 billion dollars. That means we will only increase the national debt by 600 billion next year. We will cut entitlements, mainly social security and medicare for grandma and grandpa but will not cut welfare and food stamps to the lazy and will still send money to every foreign country that will take it. We will still spend billions of dollars on poirk barrel projects so our politicians will garner enough support in their home states to get re-elected. Congress will still get their pay raises and their special medical and retirement benefits. Folks, something smells really bad in our capitol and it is time to find out what it is.

    November 27, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. steve parsons

    Why do we call it the Bush era tax cuts and not the Obama era tax increases?

    November 27, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  15. Geordie

    You need a serious plan for economic recovery and debt reduction because taxing the rich more will be nowhere near enough.
    Just last Fri. the government borrowed another 24 billion dollars from the federal reserve which just keeps printing more and more money out of thin air.
    Obama is clueless and just follows the Robin Hood ideology of the extreme left.

    November 27, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  16. NinjaScott

    cut defense spending... why should my taxes go to something I don't support? Just using GOP logic

    November 27, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  17. Name

    We need someone who is willing to lead for President – not someone who finds an excuse to jump on Air Force 1 every time the going gets a little tough! You cannot "campaign" your way into intelligent results, you have to be willing to meet with the people doing the negotiating and grind you way to difficult decisions. Can you imagine what would have happened at the time of the Cuban missile crisis if Kennedy had skipped town to play golf?????

    November 27, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  18. blanca morales

    I'm certain in Obamas capacity and he will succeed over the fiscal cliff agenda because he will not let down the American people. The GOP will have no choice but to accept reality.

    November 27, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  19. single mom

    He's still in campaign-mode. What happened to 'reaching across the aisle' or 'working together'? Or does he believe those words actually mean 'Do it my way whether you, and the people you represent, like it or not?'

    I make less than $50k a year – my taxes are going to go up $4k and health insurance premiums are going to double (again) while covering less. And I'm a low-mid level federal employee!

    November 27, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  20. bham

    I did not vote for Grover Norquist. Did any of you? Why does this man get to set policy for our government? He is undermining the authority of the United States Government and the People who elect it. Grover Norquist should be declared an enemy of the state and placed on a terrorist watch list for trying to usurp and take over the U.S.

    November 27, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  21. Joyelle

    Question about the $250,000 household income limit before additional taxes: wouldn't that promote couples from getting married? Two adult professionals could hit this limit as a married couple – but not be considered the upper whatever % you propose to get the tax increase.

    November 27, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. Paul

    Republicans want "tax reform" through reducing deductions. That way they can save face with the man they fear the most, Grover Nordquist. In addition, by eliminating some deductions, they can then just create other deductions, down the road, giving the money back to the rich. The R's have held this country back long enough, it is time for them to stop blocking, stalling, and filibustering every bill and start doing right for the country.

    November 27, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. John

    Let the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of the year and start from scratch on January 1,2013. The Norquist tax pledge will be gone and the GOP members in Congress will once again be free. Grover Norquist will then be resigned to the dustbin of history where he rightfully belongs.

    November 27, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  24. A Patriot

    Sure, Obama, keep up the "talking points" campaign and keep pointing the finger of blame instead of trying to really solve issues. Stay out there doing what you do best – talk, talk, talk (erhh, at least when you have a teleprompter or a sympathetic crowd). There is no doubt in my mind that the fiscal cliff "solution" will not be a any real solution. If I were running the Republicans, I would hand over the tax increase (for everyone) and then ask What Next? The tax increase gives gov about $80-100 billion more (about 8-12 days operating budget for the USA). Now What Mr president? Where's the other 900 Billion in deficit spending going to come from?

    November 27, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  25. Me IN HOUSTON

    Obama is a liar
    "This is Obama's cliff, but he wants the GOP to fix it."
    -------------------
    ...this is NOT Obama's fiscal cliff. This cliff was created by the Tea Party Republicans that came in during the last midterm election. Don't you remember? They refused to raise the debt ceiling unless drastic cuts were made....So Congress created this super committee to strike a Grand Bargain? Don't you remember? Or are you just a republican shill? or are you just plain stupid and uninformed....which one is it

    November 27, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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