President Obama gave his first exclusive interview on Tuesday in Washington with Bloomberg T.V. and used the stately forum to defend his budget proposal amid a heated political standoff with Republicans down the road on Capitol Hill over the federal budget and “fiscal cliff” deadline.
After meeting with the executives from many of America’s top companies during the past few weeks and conducting an interview on Tuesday with a respected business T.V. network, President Obama has been signaling to corporate America that he is serious about working closer with business leaders to help government and business community to forge closer ties with one another to help strengthen the U.S. economy.
President Obama explained that there will be no fiscal cliff deal without raising taxes on the rich but he is also happy to look at how to make entitlement programs stronger and reduce health care costs over the long term.
When asked about a Republican counteroffer of the budget proposal released on Monday, President Obama said that House Speaker Boehner’s proposal is “out of balance” and emphasized “we are not going to simply cut our way to prosperity or to cut our way out of the deficit problem that we have.”
Claiming that he needs more revenue by starting with higher revenues “at the top”, President Obama defended his plan to raise the tax rate on upper income Americans to help balance the budget instead of relying too heavily on closing deductions and loopholes to increase revenues.
“You can’t raise enough revenue and if you don’t raise enough revenues through closing loopholes and deductions, then it will be middle class families that will make up the difference. And that would be bad for business.”
President Obama later admitted that he wants to simplify the tax system by closing loopholes and deductions. However, he admitted that it will take some time before the tax code and entitlements are reformed.
When asked if he can agree to a package without raising taxes, Obama explained, “What I am not going to do is to agree to a plan in which we have some revenue that is vague and potentially comes out of the pockets of middle class families in exchange for some very specific and tough entitelment cuts that would effect seniors and other folks that are vulnerable people. That’s not the kind of plan that is good for growth.” he said.
* Correction: There has been a little confusion over who qualifies for the 2% under President Obama’s proposal to allow their tax rates to increase. On my Dec 2nd post it should have not included this statement: “while allowing the tax cut to expire for the wealthiest 2% for individuals earning over $250,000 and families earning over $500,000”
** President Obama’s correct tax rate increase proposal includes raising income tax rates on individuals earning $200,000 or more a year and married couples earning $250,000 and more annually.
Sorry for the confusion.
Coming soon: my new twitter information.