President Obama spoke today in a press conference in attempt to ease Americans uneasy about the looming fiscal cliff. Seemingly in a good mood, the President announced that a deal was “within sight but not done.”
The fiscal cliff will end the Bush Era tax cuts along with automatic spending cuts that will cut financing to government agencies by 8-10% within the next year. Economists have predicted if a deal is not met; the US Economy will slip into a recession.
President Obama mentioned the program for underprivileged preschoolers, Head Start, is one of the important programs that cannot afford the “spending axe”.
The President also reiterated his top priority was preventing a tax hike on Middle Class Americans and emphasized the Middle Class, businesses and the economy cannot afford it.
He also stated that both parties need to understand that this is a major concern for Americans.
President Obama announced that a deal that will extend tax cuts for the Middle Class, extend unemployment insurance, tax credits for green companies as well as tuition tax credits is in negotiations. He also stated that he would have preferred to handle all issues at bay however jokingly said “With this congress that was a little too much to hope for at this time.”
He wanted to clarify that his stance on a balanced and responsible deal has not faltered and cited his willingness to reduce Medicare cost as an example of his intentions but stated Congress will also have to find ways to sustain our health care cost and prevent cost from rising
He said that this deal should be a matter of sacrifice from both sides.
President Obama was joking and in a light mood but it is speculated from analysts that he is presenting a contrast of what could possibly be presented tonight at midnight if a deal is not met.
President Obama cannot initiate legislation on his own and usually POTUS does not directly participate in negotiations similar to the fiscal cliff conundrum. The President will have to depend on the House and Congress to approve a bill in which the President will then sign.