News24

Obama: I'm ready and willing to get deal

2012-12-22 08:05

Washington - President Barack Obama issued a stern summons to congressional leaders to approve legislation before year's end to prevent tax increases on millions of middle class Americans and prevent an expiration of long-term unemployment benefits for the jobless that could hit the US economy hard.

His remarks on Friday capped the end of yet another frustrating week during which Obama's Democrats and opposition Republicans, led by House Speaker John Boehner, were unable to reach an agreement on avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff.

On Thursday, Boehner signaled that he was still open to talks with Obama but said he didn't know how the combination of automatic tax increases and spending cuts would be avoided.

"How we get there, God only knows," he said.

Economists fear the combination of across-the-board tax increases and steep spending cuts scheduled to kick 1 January could deliver a blow to the US economy.

The president spoke at the end of a day in which stocks around the world tumbled and congressional leaders squabbled as the fiscal cliff drew implacably closer.

Obama insisted that he still wants a bill that requires the well-to-do to pay more. "Everybody's got to give a little bit in a sensible way" to prevent the economy from pitching over a recession-threatening fiscal cliff, he said.

He spoke after talking by phone with Boehner and meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

"I still think we can get it done," Obama said as he struggled to pick up the pieces of weeks of failed negotiations and political manoeuvring.

Comments
  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-12-22 09:26

    This means, in plain English: the United States, like Britain, Spain, Greece, and increasingly France and ourselves, sees the State as the major employer. Who in their right minds trusts a group of elected politicians to service education, healthcare, energy, civil justice, telecommunications, public transport? Yet is what a "mixed economy" means, and we believe in it because we have lost our faith, like the inhabitants of any Communist country, to provide for ourselves. Dependency on the State becomes a philosophy: the French premier says campaigned on the following, that increased State taxation and spending is the key to economic growth.

      tom.guy.37669528 - 2012-12-22 14:26

      It has been proven again and again the 'free market' and all the privatization that comes with it makes a few very rich and the rest left with the scraps. I would rather trust a governing body to oversee these crucial sectors of society than let a bunch of greedy profiteers make money off everything possible. We already living in a system that is rigged for profits, these companies make money from disasters, terrorism, sickness, even holding people in jail. I am aware of the corruption in politics and it must be stopped but privatizing crucial services almost always ends up going horribly wrong for the average jo

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-12-22 09:44

    Under the influence of this philosophy Bush set an expiry date on tax cuts. Tax increases in US "automatically" kick on 1 January 2013 by 15% income tax and 33% capital gains tax. This is the "Fiscal Cliff." It is a bogey, because Congress can modify it at any date afterwards by any degree. If "The Cliff" is extended, 2 million US jobs will be lost. If it is modified, the employed population will be taxed more. This is the penalty of creeping State involvement. Naturally some form of prgressive relaxation will be found. But in the US it will bemore difficult bcause there are only two political parties. A healthier situation exists in Britain with a coalition: the Conservatives aim at austerity: the Liberals are aware of social hardship. The way back to State austerity requires compassion, but it remains the aim.

  • johan.jacobs.5680 - 2012-12-22 09:57

    Willing to get a deal.On his conditions.?

      J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-12-22 10:13

      They'll get a deal all right, Johan, since he and the Republican Boehner have both proposed shifting tax burdens to the super rich. That, however, does not address the main problem.

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-12-22 10:01

    In our own country, we have practically reached the limit of taxation, short of becoming a "third world" economy. The ruling Party is guilty of colossal waste, some in useless defence spending and stealing, but mostly in the neglect of capital infrastructure, energy supply and clean water. We have our own brand of "State Dependency" philosophy; there is no reason why we should persist with it.

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-12-22 11:28

    There is no law in the US that says you must pay tax... everytime you pay it voluntary.

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-12-22 11:31

    I won't pay the anc a cent as we already pay them an estimation of 73c per km you drive with all taxes on petrol calculated at 10km per liter.

  • ze.mac.58 - 2012-12-22 12:35

    Im not a guy for conspirices, but something is fishy here. There is a group of stinking rich 'dogs' who pull the strings in this world.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-12-22 14:52

      . Sadly to say, you ARE into conspiracies

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