Both the White House and Congressional Republican say ongoing talks over averting the so-called fiscal cliff are at a stalemate. Speaking on Friday at toy factory in Philadelphia, President Obama accused Republicans of being “Scrooges” for their refusal to accept higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
President Obama: “If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their income taxes automatically go up on January 1st. Every — every family, everybody here, you’ll see your taxes go up on January 1st. I mean, I’m assuming that doesn’t sound too good to you. That’s sort of like the lump of coal you get for Christmas. That’s a Scrooge Christmas. It’s not acceptable to me, and I don’t think it’s acceptable to you, for just a handful of Republicans in Congress to hold middle-class tax cuts hostage simply because they don’t want tax rates on upper-income folks to go up.”
Responding to Obama in Washington, House Speaker John Boehner said increasing taxes on the wealthy would curb the nation’s economic recovery.
John Boehner: “No, there’s a stalemate. Let’s not kid ourselves. Increasing tax rates draws money away from our economy that needs to be invested in our economy to put the American people back to work. It’s the wrong approach. We’re willing to put revenues on the table, but revenues that come from closing loopholes, getting rid of special interest deductions, and not raising rates.”
Speaking meanwhile on NBC’s Meet the Press, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said he’s confident Republicans will ultimately cave in their fight to preserve tax cuts for the wealthy.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner: “The only thing standing in the way of that [a deal] would be a refusal by Republicans to accept that rates are going to go — have to go up on the wealthiest Americans. And I don’t really see them doing that. If the Republicans don’t like those ideas and they want to do it differently, they want to go beyond that, then they have to tell us what makes sense to them, and then we can take a look at it, but what we can’t do is try to figure out what makes sense for them.”