Obama warns he's got 'naughty and nice list'
November 30th, 2012
01:25 PM ET
1 year ago

Obama warns he's got 'naughty and nice list'

Hatfield, Pennsylvania (CNN) – A small town, an energetic crowd, and a bustling factory backdrop. President Barack Obama's remarks in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, on Friday may have some Americans wondering if the president was back on the campaign trail. In a way, he is.

The president traveled to Pennsylvania for a campaign-style event, where he toured a local factory and delivered remarks on the looming fiscal cliff, a series of tax hikes and spending cuts set to kick in at the beginning of the year if Congress and the White House fail to reach a deficit-reduction deal.

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"I've been keeping my own naughty and nice list for Washington," the president said after a tour of the The Rodon Group manufacturing facility, which produces more than 95% of the parts for K'NEX Brands toys. "So you should keep your eye on who gets K'NEX this year. There are going to be some members of Congress who get them and some who don't."

The event, intended to mobilize support for the president's proposed solutions to the fiscal cliff, comes as Republicans on Capitol Hill insist that recent negotiations with the White House have been unproductive.

Earlier Friday morning, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy released a video featuring a small business in nearby Collegeville, Pennsylvania, whose owner, Jerry Gorski, opposes the tax increases being pushed by Obama and Democrats on Capitol Hill. They propose raising rates on families making more than $250,000 in addition to closing loopholes, limiting deductions and increasing taxes on capital gains and dividends.

Republicans, however, staunchly oppose a raise in tax rates.

But the president remained undeterred in his speech Friday, telling the crowd, "Our long term goal is to get our long term deficit under control in a way that is balanced and is fair. That would be good for businesses, for our economy, for future generations. And I believe both parties can and will work together in the coming weeks to get that done."

In recent days Republicans have expressed dismay over the $1.6 trillion in revenue the president has put forward as part of a possible agreement - a higher amount they say they expected.

While Obama did not mention any specifics Friday, he did hint that the deal would not be easily agreed upon, saying "In Washington nothing is easy so there is going to be some prolonged negotiations. And all of us are going to have to get out of our comfort zones to make that happen."

And just in case those attending the event missed the subtle holiday-themed deadline of the fiscal negotiations, the president was happy to remind them, saying "If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their income taxes automatically go up on January first…That's a Scrooge Christmas."


Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • President Obama
soundoff (215 Responses)
  1. Al-NY,NY

    "Republicans, however, staunchly oppose a raise in tax rates. "
    ----------

    because they are owned by Grover and he has them by the......you know

    November 30, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  2. Joel

    Here comes the under the table economy, businesses are always smarter then the government. If you want to know how United States will look like in few years? just read and see Europe.

    November 30, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. ST

    We are going to let republicans mess up and destroy our Xmas and New Year. They will later see how we will mess up with the positions they are holding now.

    November 30, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  4. Critical Thinking

    Seems appropriate that Obama would have a naughty or nice list since he represents the politcal version of Santa Claus.

    November 30, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. onlyfacts

    Republicans continue to say, "it's not going well", "talks have stalled"... then Boehner comes out and says "we don't know what the President wants, he hasn't told us". It's quite obvious who is misleading us. These stupid games the GOP continues to play in trying to make Obama look like the bad guy needs to stop. If you GOP backers would just turn off Fox and Rush for a few days you might learn something.

    November 30, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  6. TEAPARTY MIKE

    Why is Obama holding the middle class hostage over insisting on raising tax revenue with tax rate increases. Letting the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire raises about 800 billion. A Washington Post article says setting a deductions cap at $50,000 raises 750 billion. Several Republicans have suggested a cap of $40,000 which they say gets you closer to 1 trillion, for sure more than 750 billion. So if both methods get you to the same place, why is Obama holding the middle class hostage and is refusing to compromise and agree to a deductions cap? No one in the middle class has a combinaiton of deductions over 40,000, only the rich would have deductions that high. The Republicans have compromised and agreed to a tax revenue increase that hits only the rich, where is Obama's compromise? Demanding a 1.6 trillion tax increase on the rich is the opposite of a compromise. I think Obama wants to go over the cliff.

    November 30, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  7. bb

    When is this guy going to quit whining, and get back to work. The campaign is over! Get back to Washington and do your job! You can demonize Republicans all you want, but it's the president's budget that is the real joke here. In 4 years, he's yet to send a proposal that can get even a single democrat to vote yes on it.

    November 30, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. JasonB

    Well, I suppose I'm on their naughty list for opposing his policies.

    As for the part of republicans opposing tax increases, let's roll back the clock a bit. Bush "No new taxes". Then made a deal with Congress (dem controlled) to raise taxes and get spending cuts. Dems reneged, just like Obama's pawn Geitner did yesterday.

    Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

    November 30, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  9. Guest

    obama and family costs were 1.4 Billion last yr for entertainment and travel. He is setting a very poor example. Cut all gov't pensions and salaries.

    November 30, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. wellthereitis@gmail.com

    Every American will see their taxes increase on January 1st... Which is what Obama has been trying to do all along, increase taxes on everyone and blame someone else.

    November 30, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. Woman In California

    How is everyone enjoying their prosperity under the repubican "Think System"? They want us to continue 'thinking' employers are using their tax breaks and massive piles of cash creating jobs when in reality, they're using every available tax loophole known to man and doing anything but hiring all to increase THEIR wealth and cut YOUR job. Slowly but surely, people are starting to wake-up to this 'Think System' and Boehner and his kind are feaful that the president's message will resonate so much that they'll all be thrown out in 2014 and replaced with decent hardworking people. Keep doing what you're doing Mr. President and the people will back your hand when we once again show show them the door.

    November 30, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  12. Bob

    Keep the heat on'em, Mr President!

    ENOUGH with these good for nothing obstructing Repukes.

    November 30, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. TheVoice2

    The GOP are afraid of Grover Norquist, be afraid, be very afraid...lol

    The Bush tax cuts will expire next year anyway, so it's OVER for GROVER. If the GOP refuses to follow the mandate, 2014 will be a massacre.

    November 30, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. TheVoice2

    The rich have bought themselves a party (Rethuglicans), and Grover Norquist is their "Hit Man"

    November 30, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  15. sonny chapman

    It's payback time for Cantor & Boehner; and their not handling it well. Like most bullies, Repubs. just HATE IT when somebody punches back.

    November 30, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. Smeagel4T

    Having been in business myself for 30+ years, I'm amused by how all the fighting simply ignores the one true fundamental thing businesses ACTUALLY need, and that's economic STABILITY. Business has always performed the most solidly during time of economic stability. So long as we're talking within reaonable bounds, and business' tax rate is a trivial issue compared to economic stability. The reason economic stability is the most important thing for business is it allows far more reliable planning. So in truth, all the political wrangling creating uncertainty is the only real problem. Raising a business' tax rate by 3% is MEANINGLESS is the grander scheme of things just so long as the business knows its taxes are going up by 3% and can plan for it. What's FAR MORE important for business is reining in Wall Street so the gamblers can no longer create huge economic swings that completely disrupt the planning of the productive businesses in our economy.

    November 30, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  17. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    For four years the GOP has been crying foul play and and accusing the President of class warfare and complaining about impeding tax hikes on the so-called job creators...that is after the job creators got a tax break for 8 years under Dubya and failed to prevent the Great Recession. O' and by the way, the job creators haven't created one single job either. And while the GOP have accused President Obama of class warfare, it was the middle class and the poor who were the victims of REVERSED CLASS WARFARE at the expense of the rich. Billions of dollars in social programs for the poor, the elderly in nursing homes such as meals on wheels and treatments for patients on dialysis across the country have beeen slashed by the GOPT controlled House to ensure more tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires. Billions of dollars in Earned Income Tax Credit have also been cut for low income working families. Then there are workers in state and local governments who have been forced to accept furlough days without pay so that states ran by republican governors can balance their budgets and keep their economioes afloat because of lost revenue resulting from giving lucrative tax breaks to corporations and the rich. Furthermore, some state and local government workers have been forced into early retirement, while others have been forced to contribute portions of their pension to cover their health insurance and many have been deprieved of promotions and pay raises that they've earned.

    Subsequently, many of these workers have also have been stripped of their collective bargaining rights for better wages, health insurance and better working conditions. So far, we have done our fair share and we've made significant sacrifices to help stabilize and pull our economy out of the Great Recession. But what has the rich done? All they've done is whine and complain that they're victims while continuing to ship jobs over seas, law off Americans and line their pockets with more wealth. Yes, that is called REVERSED CLASS WARFARE. Let's face it, its time the rich stop behaving as though they're victims and step up to the plate and do their fair share for a change!

    November 30, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  18. 2020

    Glover idea is dead and Obama is in charge; we wish GOP all understand the reality.

    American people is no fool, lets flood GOP mail box, twist box, drawn out their redicious sound bite.

    Clinton did it on capital gain and dividend cap, so is Obama. it didn't kill the job or economy, it went booming.

    Repeating that kind of history is good for America, Go Go congress, get it done!!!

    November 30, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. Markus

    > There is your socialized medicine. That is Britain. Coming soon to a US hospital near you, courtesy of Obamacare socialized medicine.

    And you don't dare mention any of the world's developed nations, ALL OF WHICH have some form of socialized medicine.

    November 30, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. n222s

    Yes indeed. Tax the wealthy at any rate you want, President Obama. Now, what changes to spending will you make immediately? Not promises, not hopes, whatever. If you get your tax increases, exactly what will you cut? Give us something real. You are the greatest orator ever. How about conjuring up a speech that asks for sacrifice in the way of tangible, NOT promised, but real cuts to programs that will equal, or more, the tax increases. Enough with the stimulus. Tax people any amount you want. Just please, lead and tell us what you will cut in 2013 that you won't try to weasel out of. Please. Just one program. How is that for cooperation? Compromise? Bipartisanship? Tax all you want if you give us specfics, no stimulus and real cuts?

    November 30, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  21. kayla

    i see some folks still gripping

    November 30, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  22. kirby

    Let it go over the cliff..................!!!!

    November 30, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  23. Let's Be Reasonable

    Is anyone else getting the feeling that John Boehner hasn't picked up a newspaper or turned on a news broadcast in four weeks? The bloke clearly doesn't understand that his party suffered a colossal defeat on November 6. If anyone has his cell number maybe you could give him a call and update him on what happened on election day.

    November 30, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  24. AnAmericanWHocares

    it all comes down to paying what is fair ...Don't say you are truly an American if you don't want to pay your fair share ..If you are making over 250k you are doing dam good compared to most and a 4 percent increase for the wealthy is not that much out of their pocket ...they need to stop being so dam greedy and go back to being true Americans

    November 30, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  25. edmundburkeson

    A rare admission indeed that CNN thinks of the government as Santa Claus w Obama as old st nick himself. Only there is no compassion on those who must foot the bill for obama's giving. Why should he care if the tax cuts are extended? Its to his advantage if we go over the cliff without reindeer. Ho! Ho! Ho!

    November 30, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
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