Obama to hit the road to avoid driving off the fiscal cliff
November 27th, 2012
06:00 AM ET
10 years 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. freedom

    What's with the bomber jacket? Like he ever served in the military? He's like the Grinch – take from everyone, leave nothing behind. "Fiscal cliff" is a big facade like "war on women". Give me a break. We've been over a cliff already. We're going to depend on these bozos to fix things? And with O at the helm?? God help us. And by the way – O isn't the savior – as some might ridiculously believe. And more campaigning? Where is the leadership?? This is exhausting.

    November 27, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. PedroT99

    You guys can make all of the jokes you want. This company is spending like a drunk college kid with a new credit card. Fine...tax the wealthy more. I don't care...except it will barely put a dent in the debt problem. The major portion of this is out of control spending. ...and the funny part is that the people that will be hurt the worst when this economy grinds to a halt are the "working people" that Obama says he cares about. The rich will be just fine.

    ...and no..I'm not saying that letting the Bush tax cuts expire will kill jobs. It may or may not. But it is a band-aid "feel good" fix that will mask the real problem.

    When we cover up real problems, we don't fix them. And THAT is what will destroy this country eventually. When that happens, the rich will just hole up in their mansions drinking Scotch while the poor and working class will starve.

    November 27, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. korkea aika

    When did paying taxes cease being our patriotic duty. The original tea partiers slogan was "no taxation without representation".........not 'no taxation ever at all'. Lack of understanding of US history on part of tea party will lead to disaster

    November 27, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. mlh1

    Yes, it would be a pity if Obama actually kept his word, along with the Republipukes, who both have sung praises of controlling spending and waste but do absolutely nothing.
    In 2010 the Tea Party elected a bunch of reps to be serious fiscal conservatives, and yet, nothing was done.
    Nothing will be done now, other than borrowing and spending more money we don't have.
    Good job, Dems and Repubs, you both s**k beyond belief.

    November 27, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  5. demidiot

    58 million people opposed obama's policy.....so dont just dont get carried away by your relection mr. president!!! you cannot just talk and get everything you wanted?

    November 27, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  6. Astute Observer

    CNN reported in Sept. 2000: CNN reported in late September 2000:

    "President Clinton announced Wednesday [Sept. 27/00] that the federal budget surplus for fiscal year 2000 amounted to at least $230 billion, making it the largest in U.S. history and topping last year’s record surplus of $122.7 billion.

    "'This represents the largest one-year debt reduction in the history of the United States,' Clinton said Wednesday morning."

    "In June ['00], the administration predicted the surplus would be $211 billion, and would increase by as much as $1 trillion over the next 10 years. Clinton also announced the federal government paid down the national debt by $223 billion this year, and by more than $360 billion since 1998, the largest debt reduction in U.S. history."

    In Jan./04, CBS News reported in a lengthy interview with Paul O'Neill, the Treasury Sec. in '01 & '02, that he warned Bush Jr. to not implement tax cuts beyond the first round (done in '01) because it would skyrocket deficits to $400+ billion (Google "Bush Sought 'Way' To Invade Iraq?" for the video & text report).

    'The Decider' Dubya foolishly ignored O'Neill's sage counsel. What happened as a result? The national debt mushroomed by nearly $5T during W.'s two terms, with deficits averaging nearly $500B!

    When Bush & his neo-con buddies left office in Jan./09, they handed off to Obama & his team a financial crisis that had wiped out trillions of dollars of national wealth & 8.8M jobs, an economy in the toilet, a deficit exceeding $1.4T, and two ultra-costly wars.

    Since then, the Obama Admin. has made solid progress in terms of cleaning up the colossal mess left by the worst president in U.S. history (6 in 10 historians reportedly think so & 200+ of them have ranked Bush Jr. among the five worst presidents) & his duplicitous & inept GOP colleagues.

    It will take a generation, at least, to reverse the immense damage done to the USA by a bunch of Republicans driven by their über-dysfunctional ideology.

    Keep moving forward, Pres. Obama!

    November 27, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. CaptD

    Mr. Boehner, I bet that "I got 95% of what I wanted", would look pretty good right about now. This issue exist because the GOP could not be happy with getting 95% of what they wanted in talks last year. I predict they will get 33% of what they want this time around. I'm sick of watching these idiots blame the President when a deal was done giving the GOP just about everything they wanted. Thanks to the GOP our infrascture is still crumbling, Vets are struggling to find employment, and they keep businesses from hiring by going on tv daily preaching doom and gloom. Busineses follow the lead of what they hear from out of Washington, so although they see record profits, the fact that Congressmen constantly lie about the state of the economy cause companies to pause in hiring. This is just as bad as candidate Romney telling business owners to let their employees know that if Obama is re-elected you might loose your job. What has this country turned into?

    November 27, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  8. captandan73

    Why not compromise and make the limit $1 mil rather than $250k which in some areas of the country is not considered "rich".....(didn't Biden in the debates also mention 1 mil as the cut off?!)

    November 27, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  9. don3149

    Im all for paying a little more tax. As long as "those" people abusing our systems get off their arsses and start working!

    November 27, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  10. Larry_Craig

    Boehner needs to go: he is dumb and stubborn like a donkey! He is still playing the same game and most Americans are fed up with the GOP controlled congress

    November 27, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  11. André

    Yes. Tax the most productive, innovative and successful, so that no one is left to create jobs and an economy. That's the way to buy votes from the lazy and the failures. That's how Obama became president.

    November 27, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  12. Roland

    You know what? Why is George Bush Jr. walking the streets with no fear about being charged for dragging America down into hell? It was so clear he has committed multiple crimes and the only one who suffers from it is the people and he does not even care. Now the next 5 presidents are going to suffer from his mess truthfully, he is playing golf as we are scraping up pennies to survive.

    November 27, 2012 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  13. Ed Snelling

    It is time for Obama to step up and take charge. Be a leader for once, we have already heard your rhetoric. What is your plan?? You have not submitted or proposed a clear cut plan for the Congress to consider. Just raising the tax rate does not generate enough revenue to solve our problems. Your hard left have now become the obstructionist by insisting that tax rate be raised on the "rich" without addressing entitlement reductions. We have a spending problem not a revenue problem.Revenues can be raised without increasing tax rates. Mr President it is time for action. You have been all talk and no action for the last four years. It is time for you to step up to the plate and prove you can "work across the aisle". But I won't be holding my breath for that to happen!

    November 27, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  14. gwillikers

    Really? Obama who spent more money than The last two republicans COMBINED and ran up the debt to 16 Trillion is trying to avoif the cliff?
    His "tax the rich" revenue plan will fund the Government for less than a week! Obama's plan will only come up with 18% of the deficit. That meams that Obama is AIMING at the cliff with the country; not trying to avoid it.
    Let's hear from Dems on how a revenue increase that only pays a small fraction of the debt will avoid the economy's collapse. Fail math much dems?

    November 28, 2012 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  15. Hugh Mann

    GOOD ! A President that engages the American people and asks their opinion...That's the way it's supposed to be...
    ALOHA Barack

    November 28, 2012 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
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