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President Obama Comments on the Economy

by Terri Harel, published
Photo: AP Photo

In his first comments after his reelection, President Obama discussed his plan for the economy this afternoon in Washington, D.C. President Obama's comments on the economy highlighted the urgency and necessity for bipartisan solutions to the looming fiscal cliff and economic recovery as a whole.

The president noted that his first and most important priorities are jobs and growth, and claimed he has a detailed plan that will reduce the deficit $4 trillion over the next ten years. However, he offered a caveat that the details of his plan were not fixed, giving him a buffer of flexibility and malleable accountability.

Additionally, the president emphasized that deficit reduction would need to be coupled with revenue, and this would require higher taxes. The president said,

"Last year I worked with Democrats and Republicans to cut a $1 trillion of spending we just couldn’t afford... We can’t cut our way to prosperity. If we’re serious with reducing the deficit we have to combine spending cuts with revenue."
As such, Obama is asking the wealthiest Americans to pay more in taxes.

President Obama used the popular Clinton-era surplus as a buttress for his plan to let Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy expire, which would then foce the wealthiest Americans to contribute to federal revenue.

Using his election as a mandate of his approach, he said that the majority of Americans agree – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – on his “balanced approach.”  The job now, he continued, would be to get a majority in Congress that reflects the will of the American people.

The president warned that if Congress cannot reach an agreement, taxes for all Americans will automatically go up on January 1st, a scenario he emphasized “makes no sense” and would be bad for the economy.

President Obama is set to meet with party leaders next week.

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