White House talking points on the fiscal cliff deal
January 1st, 2013
10:51 AM ET
10 years ago

White House talking points on the fiscal cliff deal

Washington (CNN) - The White House sent supporters talking points on the Senate-passed fiscal cliff deal which tout the middle class tax rate extension, the "balance" of spending cuts and tax increases, temporary suspension of the sequester, and other successes for the Obama administration.

The full topline talking points, obtained by CNN, are below the jump.

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Our economy is getting stronger and poised to take off. At this make or break moment for the middle class, the president worked with Republicans and Democrats in Congress on an agreement that keeps income taxes low for the middle class and grows the economy. As the president promised, millionaires and billionaires will also begin to pay their fair share through a combination of permanent tax rate increases and reduced tax benefits. This is the first time in twenty years that a bipartisan agreement that has increased tax rates on the wealthy. And this deal ensures we'll continue to make investments in education, clean energy, and manufacturing that strengthen our economy and the middle class. While neither Democrats nor Republicans got everything they wanted, this agreement is the right thing to do for our country. The Senate came together to pass this agreement with bipartisan support, and the House should pass it without delay.

Under this bipartisan agreement, middle class families will have the security of knowing that their income tax rates will stay low permanently. Middle class families would have seen a $2,200 tax increase at midnight tonight, now income taxes will stay low for 98% of Americans and 97% of small businesses as the president promised.

Every individual making over $250,000 a year will pay higher taxes to help reduce the deficit under this deal. For the wealthiest Americans making over $400,000 a year, tax rates will increase to the level they were at under president Clinton–39.6%–when our economy created over 23 million new jobs. And tax benefits for households making over $250,000 (for singles) and $300,000 (for couples) will be reduced. Unless the wealthy do their fair share, the middle class will bear the burden of deficit reduction. The president insisted that the wealthy do a little more, and by standing strong he has protected investments like education that the middle class rely on.

Democrats and Republicans are also establishing the principle that deficit reduction should be a balanced mix between spending cuts and revenue increases-not a cuts only approach. For the first time in twenty years, tax rates will increase for the wealthy. More than a year ago, Republicans in Congress wouldn't even vote to close tax loopholes for corporate jets, now they've voted to permanently lock in higher tax rates for the wealthiest Americans.

While taxes will increase on the wealthiest, the president also fought to preserve middle class tax cuts that help families keep more money in their pockets and afford the cost of higher education.

o The deal extends job creating tax cuts that help millions of working families. The president fought hard to extend the expansions to the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and to extend the new American Opportunity Tax Credit, overcoming Republican insistence that income taxes go up by an average of $1,000 for 25 million working families and students. The agreement would extend them for five years.

This bipartisan deal makes investments in education, manufacturing, clean energy, small business, and other things that keep the middle class strong and secure.

o Tax credits that encourage the production of clean domestic energy such as the Production Tax Credit (PTC) will be extended through the end of the year

o 2 million Americans who lost their jobs through no fault of their own will continue to temporarily receiving unemployment benefits.

o Businesses will get to immediately write off 50% of capital investments made next year, helping to accelerate job-creating investments in manufacturing and other sectors.

o And because the president fought for seniors and the middle class, Medicare won't be voucherized, Medicaid won't be block granted, the Affordable Care Act will remain the law of the land, and the president will have stopped an aggressive Republican campaign to raise the Medicare retirement age to 67.

This deal also prevents automatic spending cuts that would threaten our national security and investments that build our economy and the middle class. Moving forward, both spending cuts and revenue will be required to reduce the deficit in a balanced way.

There's more work to do, but this agreement builds on the $1 trillion in spending cuts the president has already signed into law by asking the wealthy to pay a little more in taxes to reduce the deficit. In 2011, the president cut spending. In 2012, he kept his promise to ask the wealthy to pay a little more while protecting the middle class. As we move forward to address our ongoing fiscal challenges, both spending cuts and continuing to ask the wealthy to do a little more will be part of a balanced approach.

It is critical for our economy and future generations that we reduce the deficit. We can't keep racking up this debt on our kids. And the president looks forward to working with Republicans to reducing the deficit in a balanced and bipartisan way.

Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • President Obama • White House
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. roro

    So far, so good. Democrats, keep up the good work and DON'T BACK DOWN. You have the country behind you.

    January 1, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  2. Ray E. (Georgia)

    So the Libs say: We need to reduce the Defict. and if you believe that, I have some Prime Water Front Property I want to sell you Cheap.

    January 1, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. ococoob

    @Ray E.

    Don't be calling Libs here. It was the GOP House that LEFT, get this, LEFT on their breaks while Washington burns here! Now, who's the asses here?! Can't wait for 2014!

    January 1, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. David

    I don't think either party is blameless in this mess. I wouldn't cheer either side!

    January 1, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  5. Bill from GA

    The only way we are going to reduce the deficit is to grow our economy.

    Spending cuts are only a small part of the equation.

    Government investment in the economy, in large part as targeted tax cuts, and aid to state governments to slow the number of layoffs, has had a large part in the growth we have experienced since the MINUS 6% GDP we had in W's last quarter as President.

    January 1, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    All the WH does is talk.........and then does NOTHING beneficial whatsoever.

    January 1, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. Aaron

    I seriously wonder at times how GoP supports can watch what is going on and think "yup its a good thing that the House keeps failing to try and do anything remotely helpful to this situation."

    January 1, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  8. Disgusted

    It isnt the house or senate, it's you Mr. President! Worst ever and wrong for the nations future. And for you dem's, the house sent a bill to the senate long ago and it wasnt even considered, you fail to understand this isnt a kingdom or dictatorship even if oblabla thinks it is.

    January 1, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  9. Hammerer

    Say did Obama not say that he would veto any bill that did not raise taxes on everyone that made above $250,000?
    Looks like he is going to eat more crow!

    January 1, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  10. Randy, San Francisco

    Great victory for President Obama and the American people! Expect good objective coverage by mainstream media organizations except Fox (faux) news, propoganda wing of the GOP.

    January 1, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. Free man in the Republic of Texas

    White House talking points on the fiscal cliff deal

    "I" get to GUT the military
    "I" get to TAX everyone who works for a living and still has a job
    "I" get to BLAME the misery on George Bush & The Tea party

    WHAT'S NOT to like ???

    January 1, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |