Obama warns he's got 'naughty and nice list'
November 30th, 2012
01:25 PM ET
2 months 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. colt45

    The GOP lost the election, lost seats in the Senate, and lost seats in the House. Factually they have a majority in the House, but politically they lost everything.

    If they inexplicably remain truly intransigent and do not allow middle class tax CUTS and prevent an increase on the tax rate for the wealthy, they will lose the House in 2014, and may even face some recall elections before 2014. At the rate they are going, they will be as irrelevant at the least and possibly as extinct as the Dodo bird by 2016

    December 1, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. Steve

    Fix the deficit. Make it solvent. Tax increases with no decrease in spending isn't going to cut it. BTW... where is Obama campaigning THIS week?

    December 1, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. petemg

    Come on people quit blaming just the GOP. Again why didn't Obama do more the first two years when he had the Congress controlled by Democrats. Obama just held his breath until Democrats were not the majority so that he could have GOP to blame. If anybody wants to blame anybody blame all of the politicians. If Obama really wants to prevent this cliff he should suggest that all of Capitol Hill take pay cuts. Tell them to quit their automatic pay increases. We need to have at least two parties so one can keep the other in check. Oh that is right Obama and Democrats want full control so they can do as they please. Again blame anybody blame them all.

    December 1, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. tax and spend solution

    TAX and SPEND TAX and SPEND TAX and SPEND, You know real Democrat "Solutions" to a weak economy, you TAX and SPEND some MORE!!! DESTROY MORE JOBS DESTROY MORE JOBS TAX AND SPEND TAX AND SPEND

    December 1, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    We've had foru years of your savior Obama. What has it gotten us. Trillions of dollars in debt and no end in sight. Fools

    December 1, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  6. Lance D.

    The GOP could just sit back and watch the Democrats push the self-destruct button. American is quickly becoming an International joke - and is being treated by the Eastern World as a "cash cow" toyland. What foreign nation is scared of us? I mean really, think about it. Israel? Egypt? Iran? North Korea? China? Russia? About 20-25% of the United Nations budget is comprised of American dollars, yet it still voted to upgrade Palestinian status despite vehement American objection. The Obama Administration passes out money to "Foreign Smiling Faces" then gets thumb-nosed with wiggling fingers behind our back. Nuclear missiles with smiley faces for the U.S. being rapidly developed unabated. A U.S. State Department that enacted "Photo-Op Diplomacy," logging in thousands of air miles and spending billions of taxpayer dollars with little effect. The Eastern World Nations are doing what they want to do, and their momentum seems to be only growing stronger as American influence on International politics grows proportionately weaker. Let someone prove me wrong.

    December 1, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  7. Jacob Murphy

    It's not a tax *raise*; it's an expiration of temporary tax *cuts*.

    That's the thing that Republicans don't get: if nothing gets done, the tax cuts will simply expire – for everyone. Either agree or don't on maintaining the current tax levels for middle class Americans. Then, we can get on with the rest...

    December 1, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  8. JasonB

    Something else I'm really sick of hearing, as a retired veteran, is that military vets have somehow been included in the 47%. NOT TRUE, I paid into my pension and I pay taxes on that pension, declared every year on my 1040, paid at the EXACT SAME rate as income tax! I believe the same is true of those on Social Security.

    Military vets and Social Security recipients ARE NOT PART OF THE 47% freeloaders!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STOP THE BS LIBERAL LIES!

    December 1, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  9. mrl

    obama seems to think he had a mandate – he did not this time... he got the minority votes.... in the big city areas – the rest of the map was far more red this time. He needs to start getting SERIOUS about fixing problems – and these cutsie "nasty nice list idiocies" are showing he is just a joke.

    December 1, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  10. mrl

    Republicans SHOULD let the Dems do everything they want (except pass laws that can not be undone in the future)... Then they will have no ability to blame anyone but themselves as the country goes over the cliff.

    December 1, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. LIP

    I agree with Dr.Piz...give them what they want and then all those that wished for it can go into denial.
    Everyopne keeps saying that the Republican party is dead, but one need only look back at the Republican/Democrat Presidents and see that this isn't the case. Let's also remember that darn near half of the countries population voted for Romney and even though we lost by a few votes, we still count for something...we aren't all dead as you would have us believe.
    I think it would be nice for a little compromise from both parties to include President Obama, so we can all take ownership of the plunge over the cliff. I am more inclined to think it is not really a cliff anyway but more like a "stumble".

    December 1, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  12. Lance D.

    Has anyone ever walked inside a "permissive" home? The house is surrounded by a junkyard. Loud music, Kids fighting, Toddlers drawing pictures with crayons all over the walls, piles of dirty laundry everywhere, dirty roach-infested dishes laying around in every room, torn up furniture, and the smell of dog poop. This is what our "Permissive America" under the Obama Administration looks like to the rest of the more-traditional, better-cultured world.

    December 1, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  13. Name

    Democrats are just as bad as the Republicans! None of them eork! Fire them all with no benefits and pensions! Make them get a real job!

    December 1, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  14. Name Janet

    The Democrats are so "hard working", they haven't passed a budget in three years. That is irresponsible and yet, now republicans are blamed, once again, for everything. This president needs to quit talking to the public and start doing his job!!

    December 1, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  15. Martin

    I guess we just have to learn to survive on tree bark or dirt.I don't see any compromise from either side.Why should they care at all.They are all insulated from any negative consquences.I bet they all delight in slow destruction of America as they drink their cocktails and eat their Kolby steaks.Glad I am a childless widower.They can't screw over my wife or children.They would if they could though.May GOD have mercy on America.We need it.

    December 1, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  16. TEAPARTYMIKE

    Obama has a naughty and nice list? Really? What does that mean, he won't give a Christmas gift to naughty Republicans?
    Who is he trying to influence? Children? Obama has never been the grown up in the room and never will be. All the idiots who voted for Obama deserve to have their taxes increased. This so called fiscal cliff is really a speed bump compared to what will happen just a few years down the road if spending is not cut in a big way and entitlements are not reformed. As a nation we will survive a small recession if going off the fiscal cliff would actually cause that. America will not survive our march towards a Greece like economic melt down which will come if Republicans give in to Obama. Republicans should fight to the end to do all they can to prevent that. Even if it means they loose the PR war and get all the blame. Obama will never save the nation from government debt driven economic ruin. And Republicans will only be guilty of helping Obama if they give in. Better to go down fighting than be guilty of Americas ruin.

    December 1, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    We re-elected a Campaigner in Chief. Wish he was a negotiator...

    December 1, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  18. TEAPARTYMIKE

    What a joke!
    Who is he trying to influence? Children? Obama has never been the grown up in the room and never will be. All the idiots who voted for Obama deserve to have their taxes increased. This so called fiscal cliff is really a speed bump compared to what will happen just a few years down the road if spending is not cut in a big way and entitlements are not reformed. As a nation we will survive a small recession if going off the fiscal cliff would actually cause that. America will not survive our march towards a Greece like economic melt down which will come if Republicans give in to Obama. Republicans should fight to the end to do all they can to prevent that. Even if it means they loose the PR war and get all the blame. Obama will never save the nation from government debt driven economic ruin. And Republicans will only be guilty of helping Obama if they give in. Better to go down fighting than be guilty of Americas ruin.

    December 1, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  19. Edwin Wood

    120 million people voted Obama only won by 3.5 million votes....There is no GOP implosion. Romney was the wrong guy and unjustly painted as the out of touch rich guy who had to defend his success. I believe Gingrich would have won the election because he would have fought on the facts instead of having to defend his success.......very tough times ahead with Obama. Socialism has never worked anywhere. Oh and Norway was a huge fiscal cliff coming, oil revenues are putting off whats coming for them

    December 1, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  20. Squigman

    At this point the 2014 elections look to be the swan song for any republican power, or influence whatsoever. Don't wish to see time go by faster, but if it get's rid of these human speed bumps, the sooner the better.

    December 1, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  21. Name mary grant

    Shame on those repubs..2014 wow...

    December 1, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  22. scramble

    President Obama seems to have in inherent desire to emulate President Nixon with his enemies list. Previously, a list of those that donate too much to his opponent and now a list of those that don't agree with his increased spending intiiatives.

    December 1, 2012 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  23. Bill Heilmann

    How about Obama stop playing Santa Clause and start behaving like a President.

    December 1, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  24. Randy

    Obama, stop campaigning, PR Photo shots, and stalling. Learn the art of compromise, get back to Washington and do your job.

    December 1, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  25. Angus McD

    It's funny that Democrats (and I'm an independent who usually votes with them) claim that "the Americans have spoken" insisting that income tax rates go up on the top bracket, in addition to the 4% increase already baked in for ObamaCare, totaling around 9%. Isn't is also true that given the significant majority of Republicans in Congress, maybe Americans spoke for taxes to go down? Basically, they split their ticket and spoke for divided government, and compromise.

    Also, there is no evidence that those in the 35% bracket – doctors, small business owners, professors among them – are abusing the system. Aren't the egregious abuses among extremely high earners making most of their income via capital gains, e.g. hedge funds, private equity, executives paid with stock options, and/or with lots of big tax shelters? These are the folks with the yachts, $6000 umbrella stands, etc. Seems like setting a minimum 25-30% Buffett Rule and eliminating shelters/loopholes is the true path to "paying a fair share," especially while continuing subsidies for extended unemployment benefits, payroll tax holidays, and other once-extraordinary measures. Hitting high earners with huge increases in top rates is strictly a punitive measure, neither fair nor a deficit solution. It will mostly lead to reduced charitable giving and investment.

    December 1, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
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