Romney, Obama react to fiscal cliff report
August 22nd, 2012
01:40 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney, Obama react to fiscal cliff report

(CNN) – A Congressional Budget Office report released Wednesday on the potentially dismal impact of the impending "fiscal cliff" prompted finger pointing from both parties, not surprisingly, blaming each other.

The White House placed blame for a gloomy economic outlook on Congressional Republicans and Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, named President Barack Obama as the instigator of high projected deficits.

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The "fiscal cliff" is a combination of tax increases set to take effect in January 2013 and spending cuts, which were the result of a compromise budget measure passed into law in 2011 after Congressional negotiations failed to agree on a deficit-reduction plan last fall. The cuts will automatically go into effect if Congress does not act before the end of the year on a plan to reduce the federal debt.

The report, released Wednesday, found that the spending cuts and tax increases would result in recession and higher unemployment. However, the report also said it would improve the outlook of the federal government's budget deficit.

Democrats and Republican both found elements in the CBO's findings to pin on the other side. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney wrote that Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, had "chosen to double down on the same failed policies that led to the economic crisis in the first place."

"They're willing to hold the middle class hostage unless we also give massive new tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires – tax cuts we can't afford that would do nothing to strengthen the economy," Carney wrote.

Obama frequently uses that sentiment on the campaign trail, including in Reno on Tuesday, when he told a crowd at a rally that Republicans had failed to offer any meaningful plans of their own, and were focused instead on criticizing his attempts at improving the American economy.

"They won't be talking about much, but they will spend more money than we've ever seen on ads that just try to repeat the same thing over and over again," Obama said. "The economy is not doing as well as it should and it's all Obama's fault. It's like going to a concert and they just keep playing the same song over and over again."

After the CBO report was released Monday, Republicans quickly pointed back at the White House, arguing they had taken action that the president has thus far ignored.

"The economy isn't growing," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor wrote. "As the CBO makes clear, the President's push for higher taxes on small businesses and failure to prevent devastating defense cuts threaten our national security, jobs and economic growth."

Cantor, in his statement, also boosted his party's presidential candidate, saying it was time for a change in leadership.

"With four years of trillion dollar deficits and an economy threatened by the President's failed policies, Americans deserve real leadership that will create jobs, responsibly reduce our massive debt and return economic growth and prosperity," Cantor wrote.

Amanda Henneberg, a Romney campaign spokeswoman, similarly pinned responsibility for the CBO's findings on Obama, saying the report was "another indictment of President Obama's economic policies that have resulted in overspending, increasing debt, and a growing financial burden on the next generation."

"The Romney-Ryan Plan will get America back on track with lower spending and 12 million new jobs for middle-class families," she wrote.

Romney's vice presidential pick, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, voted for passage of the sequestration measure last year. It was signed into law by Obama on August 2, 2011 and was also supported by Democrats.

At the time, he said then the measure represented "a victory for those committed to controlling government spending and growing our economy."

He continued in his statement, "The agreement – while far from perfect – underscores the extent to which the new House majority has successfully changed Washington's culture of spending. No longer can Washington endlessly spend money it does not have."

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan • President Obama
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Caliifornia

    It's already too late.

    Our steering ratio can not accommodate how fast we need to turn away from the cliff now.

    August 22, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. Fair is Fair


    "13% of $20 million is $2.6 million. In one year he pays more in taxes than most people will earn in a lifetime. If you ask me, that's more than fair."

    What's your point? Other than the man is a multimillionaire?
    My point is that the Obama mantra of the "rich" paying their "fair share" is nothing more than divisive rhetoric on the president's part. The rich pay PLENTY.

    And hey... just think. If you pay $1... ONE DOLLAR.... in federal income tax, you pay more than over 80 MILLION taxpayers... COMBINED. Yep, gotta love that "fairness".

    August 22, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  3. m.l. russ

    $2.8 million is how much Mitt will make each year as president because his tax rate will be almost 0%. Sorry, he will NEVER be President of the U.S. Maybe Caymen or Bermeda.

    August 22, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
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