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. EX Republican

    I blame republican because they dont want to pass any Obama job bills. The republican are hurting our country.
    That why I left the republican party because of the angry towards president Obama.

    August 22, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. Don

    Funny but this "principled" GOP is about to nominate the first candidate that didn't believe in theTrinity; a draft dodger who signed gun banning legislation and was pro choice not to mention the only one to have socialized medicine in his state. They've come a long long way.

    August 22, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. SuperD

    The utter idea that Democrats are fiscally responsible is Obamaloney. Of course it's their fault.

    August 22, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  4. Four and The Door

    EX Republican
    I blame republican because they dont want to pass any Obama job bills.
    Obama's "job bills" are the same failed strategy of the Grande Stimulus of 2009. Spend debt money to create temporary expensive government jobs. No thanks, Didn't work the first time and this is shy we loaded up congress with Republicans in 2010. Stop the out of control spending. They have at least slowed the skyrocketing debt increases.

    August 22, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  5. LOL in Colorado

    Sorry Repugs. You are to blame.
    Recall, in Jan. 2009, hate radio host Rush Limbaugh expressed his hope that Obama fails. One month later, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell proudly embraced Limbaugh at a conservative conference. The fringe rhetoric of far right activists had quickly become the de facto governing strategy of the Republican leadership, as they adopted a posture of obstructionism.
    MCCONNELL: The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.

    August 22, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  6. anthony76

    Republicans going back on their word again... yet they call Obama the liar.

    August 22, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  7. Gaz

    Two things are required: tax increase and spending cuts. Start with the military. America spends more than the next twenty countries combined yet china and russia could still challenge and cause world was three. Taxes: go back to pre reagan taxes. Never below 70% on the rich. Believe or not, its the revenue earned from the most wealthy that builds america. The wealthy are who built america with their high taxes.

    August 22, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. RealityBites

    4 yrs without passing a budget proves that Obama, Democrats and the lamestream media are NOT concerned about Americas fiscal cliff or future generations.

    August 22, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. curious

    Riddle me this. Name a Republican president that did not produce a deficit during their term(s) in office. Rmoney claims he will be the first. Promises, promises and more promises.

    August 22, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. Linc

    Obama has no plans and no answers. He will keep up his third world blame the rich theme that does not even begin to be address and real problems. I work in a trust department in a Bank and let me tell you the wealthy are acting like they are preparing for Armageddon. They are watching their spending and limiting stock market exposure. Obama is the plague.

    August 22, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |

    The Grand Obstructionist Party is to blame. There was a 4 trillion dolar deal compromised by the President and that sad excuse for a Speaker, Speaker Boehner. Republicans walked away from the deal. Why? That's right. There plan is to see President Obama and the country fail.

    August 22, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  12. tibs

    I hope Obama wins so we can raise taxes on everyone. The middle class need to pay AT LEAST 60-70% of everything they earn. The rich need to be taxed at 90-93% We need more government programs and agencies and more spending on everything. We need to give farmers and corporations and all sorts of people taxpayer money. We need more welfare programs. The minimum wage should be rasied to at least 20dollars an hour.

    Once we pay the government the majority of everything we make well be on our way. the government should also run most of our business. they need to take control of walmart. they also need to set the price of things in washington. free markets dont work freedom doesnt work, it never has. Just like Obama said, free enterprise is a bad thing.

    If you want less government and more economic freedom. if you think you can spend your money better than the government can then dont vote. If you want more government control over how we exist as a country vote Obama. Face it people, were too dumb to exist ourselves and make our own decesions regarding finance and business.

    Obama 2012 Its time for government baby!

    August 22, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  13. m.l. russ

    repubs tend to forget how they left this country for obama. headed toward depression!

    August 22, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  14. lolo

    These republicans sure do have a short memory. This is the reason their lies will not work this time except with their base. If Romney does not do their bidding he will be replaced soon. Romney is nothing but a greedy spoiled rich businessman who knows nothing about government except to get as much as he can from uncle sam without spending a dime of his money. GOP = Party of big time liars. They did not work with President Obama period and he definitely deserves a second chance with a Congress who will do more than just sit on their hands and hopes America fails so that they can regain power. Vote Democrat across the board. The GOP/TP can always move to that moon colony Newt has planned for them if they don't like it. Who needs them anyway with their hypocritical nonsense. America will be better off. Sarah Palin really made stupid look cool fo the GOP. Romneyhood will screw America faster than a streak of lightining if he is elected. We still want to see those tax returns Mittens.

    August 22, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  15. Bill, NY

    You cannot if you are a reasonable person blame the current financial situation on the current president due to the fact that he has been hamstrung and obstructed at every juncture by the republicans. People here complain about 8.2% unemployment. Take a good look across the pond and you will see many countries dealing with unemployment rates that are plus 21% on average. This president has done a better than expected job considering the republican agenda to see him fail(with us as collateral damage). If the republicans truly felt he was not qualified to do the job they would have gotten out of his way and let him truly dig himself into a deep hole. It seems though, that the republicans are more afraid of him succeeding than failing.

    August 22, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |

    Why did Eric Cantor have a temper tantrum, take his ball and go home when the 4 trillion deal was COMPROMISED on?

    August 22, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. BlkPwr817

    The GOP needs to realize that Americans aren't dumb. Many know the real reason we're in this mess. They also know that congress isn't doing anything to help the situation. They refuse to pass any bill that Obama puts forth so he doesn't get credit. Just so he fails right?

    August 22, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  18. JP


    more TAXES will lead to MORE GOVERNMENT SPENDING....

    since when does GOVERNMENT spend the 70% of the wealthy's money efficiently?

    and why should GOVERNMENT spend their money and NOT the ones who CREATED that wealth???

    you can not be a free nation if GOVENMENT TAKES away your wealth....even if it is the wealth of the EVIL RICH

    August 22, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. American People

    The GOP solution to the Fiscal Cliff: Tax cuts for the rich to create jobs in China & India. er.......I mean tax cuts for the rich to create Fiscal Cliffs. er.........I mean tax cuts for the rich becuase THAT's our only solution. That's it!

    August 22, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  20. Hahahahahahaha

    Hey GOP! You DID build that (fiscal cliff)!!!!!!!! Hahahahahahahaha

    August 22, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. Jeff in San Diego

    I actually want the fiscal cliff to happen. It may be the only way Americans wake up to the fact that the military is spending money it doesn't need. The United States is bordered by two oceans, two stable countries that we have strong ties to and the populace is armed. We have a strong Army, Marines, Navy and Airforce plus a Coast Guard to protect us from an invasion that would never happen. We can afford to cut military spending the most and yet it is held like a Holy Grail that we must have troops all over the world for our "protection." The only thing our troops are protecting is corporate interests from loosing sway over key resources – the main one being cheap labor that actually causes American jobs to be lost. Congress will quickly act to halt tax increases on families that are hurting, but we'll soon find out we don't need the waste in the Defense Department.

    August 22, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. JP

    Bill, NY

    did you FORGET Obama had 2 years of a Fillibuster proof Congress....he had Nancy and Harry do do ANYTHING he wanted for 2 years...untill the people got wind of his plans

    August 22, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." --B. Obama

    This is all the uhbamas fault. His failed policies and unfunded healthcare fiasco has led us to a fiscal nightmare. Romney will inherit a mess caused by the uhbama and the neocrats, but should have the country back on the right track in a relatively short time.

    August 22, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  24. JP

    Bill, NY

    did you FORGET Obama had 2 years of a Fillibuster proof Congress....he had Nancy and Harry do do ANYTHING he wanted for 2 years...until the people got wind of his plans

    August 22, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  25. Anna B

    From day one of Obama's administration, the neocons and tea party (the republican party should now change their names to one of these) have done NOTHING but try to make him a one term president. That's it! In spite of this, he has done and amazing job and is moving us in the right direction.
    And sure, yeah, let's now elect a bllionaire and his bozo sidekick who want to FURTHER reduce taxes for the wealthy and spend more on defense ... that's going to be really great for the deficit.
    Think America! Forward – 4 more years so Obama can continue cleaning up Bushie's mess ... otherwise we are going in to a depression for sure.

    August 22, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
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