Speaking in the East Room of the White House Friday afternoon, President Obama pitched his plan to address the fiscal cliff, saying that he won’t accept any approach to federal-deficit reduction that doesn’t ask the wealthy to pay more in taxes.
Listen to the remarks and read an excerpt of his remarks here:
At a time when our economy is still recovering from the Great Recession, our top priority has to be jobs and growth. That’s the focus of the plan I talked about during the campaign. (Applause.) It’s a plan to reward small businesses and manufacturers that create jobs here, not overseas. It’s a plan to give people the chance to get the education and training that businesses are looking for right now. It’s a plan to make sure this country is a global leader in research and technology and clean energy, which will attract new companies and high-wage jobs to America. It’s a plan to put folks back to work, including our veterans, rebuilding our roads and our bridges, and other infrastructure. And it’s a plan to reduce our deficit in a balanced and responsible way.
Our work is made that much more urgent because at the end of this year, we face a series of deadlines that require us to make major decisions about how to pay our deficit down — decisions that will have a huge impact on the economy and the middle class, both now and in the future. Last year, I worked with Democrats and Republicans to cut a trillion dollars’ worth of spending that we just couldn’t afford. I intend to work with both parties to do more — and that includes making reforms that will bring down the cost of health care so we can strengthen programs like Medicaid and Medicare for the long haul.
But as I’ve said before, we can’t just cut our way to prosperity. If we’re serious about reducing the deficit, we have to combine spending cuts with revenue — and that means asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes. (Applause.) That’s how we did it in the 1990s, when Bill Clinton was President. That’s how we can reduce the deficit while still making the investments we need to build a strong middle class and a strong economy. That’s the only way we can still afford to train our workers, or help our kids pay for college, or make sure that good jobs in clean energy or high-tech manufacturing don’t end up in countries like China.
Read more at the Washington Post.