President Barack Obama took his fiscal cliff campaign to Michigan (AP) Monday, where he spoke to an audience at the Daimler Detroit Diesel Plant about manufacturing in the United States and discussed his plan to reduce the deficit and avert the cliff.
Obama also talked about his goals for an economy that supports the middle class:
[I]f we’re serious about reducing our deficit, we’ve also got to be serious about investing in the things that help us grow and make the middle class strong, like education, and research and development, and making sure kids can go to college, and rebuilding our roads and our infrastructure. (Applause.) We’ve got to do that.
So when you put it all together, what you need is a package that keeps taxes where they are for middle-class families; we make some tough spending cuts on things that we don’t need; and then we ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a slightly higher tax rate. And that’s a principle I won’t compromise on, because I’m not going to have a situation where the wealthiest among us, including folks like me, get to keep all our tax breaks, and then we’re asking students to pay higher student loans. Or suddenly, a school doesn’t have schoolbooks because the school district couldn’t afford it. Or some family that has a disabled kid isn’t getting the help that they need through Medicaid.
In a column published on Friday, House Speaker John Boehner said:
Republicans have signaled our willingness to accept some new revenues, if they come from tax reform instead of higher tax rates and are accompanied by meaningful spending reforms that begin to address the drivers of our country’s debt.
In re-electing a Democratic president and a Republican majority in the House, the American people gave both parties a mandate – not to raise tax rates, but to find common ground and act in the best interests of our country.
For more information on the fiscal cliff, see this CFR backgrounder.
–Contributing Editor Kirsti Itameri