The Economy Speech — President Obama Speaks Live at 1:05 Today

Filed in National by on November 9, 2012

President Obama is speaking today at 1:05 about the economy and (presumably) about the so-called “fiscal cliff” that will roll back the Bush tax cuts and implement serious cuts to several government agencies (including the DOD). Remember throughout all of this — the GOP and their Democratic deficit hawks have been publicly hand wringing about too much spending and too big deficits. Just letting these two things happen put a substantial dent into both. That’s just basic math. There’s not many hints as to where President Obama will take this conversation, but there are some hints.

  1. Let the tax cuts expire for everyone except for the people with incomes less than $250,000. He’s been consistent about this goal since 2008. I would vote for letting all of them expire, but if he talks about this exception, no one should be surprised.
  2. Senator Chuck Schumer has been out front and vocal on the tax cuts issue for a couple of months:

“A 1986-style approach that promises upfront rate cuts to the wealthy is almost guaranteed to give middle-income earners the short end of the stick,” Schumer will say. “The reason is, in order to raise enough money to both reduce tax rates and cut the deficit, you would need to slash deductions and credits on a far greater scale than we ever did in 1986. Middle-income earners would not be spared.”

Senior Democrats are now openly acknowledging their plan to hold the economy hostage to massive, job-killing tax hikes, and espousing the fiscally irresponsible view that says the country should be driven off the fiscal cliff rather than Congress working toward bipartisan solutions to reform and strengthen entitlements without killing jobs. And he admits that Democrats don’t intend to reform entitlements or our tax code as a means to restore fiscal sanity, create jobs, or protect our seniors, but rather to use the effort as a lure to entice support for even more job-killing tax hikes. The Speaker and I have called for extending all the income tax rates for a year, ensuring that no one sees an income tax hike in January and preventing the economic harm and massive job loss that will come if Sen. Schumer and Washington Democrats follow through on their threats to drive us off the fiscal cliff. This uncertainty needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later. We need to find a way to deal with the sequester not by cutting a penny less, but by intelligently making the decisions that are necessary to keep our promise to reduce the debt by $2.1 trillion and to get our economy back on track.

“Senator Schumer is making is a very important point — that the wealthiest must pay their fair share in any balanced approach to reducing our deficit in a way that protects the middle class, seniors, and our ability to invest in education and innovation,” Carney said. “He’s making the very clear point that the President has made and others have made, that it is fanciful thinking to imagine that you can give more tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires and that the pixie dust of trickle-down economics will somehow erase any damage to the deficit or hold harmless the middle class.”

On the sequester, President Obama said in a debate, that “the sequester won’t happen“, and Republicans treated that statement as a gaffe, rather than a reminder of a bargaining chip.

So what will happen? What I want definitely *won’t* happen. But if Chuck Schumer has been the leading edge of the negotiating position, I’d be satisfied with that — who wants the Cat Food Commission anyway? — with the President holding the automatic sequester as the hostage. The wild card here is Democratic support — it is difficult to underestimate how badly Ds and Rs want to avoid DOD cuts that might eliminate jobs and programs and campaign funds from their districts.

You can watch the speech over at CSPAN. Also, WHYY will broadcast the speech live on the radio.

Feel free to use the comments here to live blog what you hear.

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  1. Liberal Elite says:

    Here’s a line I hope to hear:

    “The fiscal cliff is a better deal for the American people than what the GOP is currently offering.”

  2. Jason330 says:

    The White House is streaming it.

  3. Jason330 says:

    “Deficit reduction in balanced way… can’t cut our way to prosperity. Wealthiest American will have to pay a little more in taxes. … that’s how we did in the 90’s when Bill Clinton was President.”

  4. Jason330 says:

    Telegraphing willingness to compromise…but will not accept approach not balanced. Not cuts without tax increases for over $250k”

    Was debated during the election… America voted for it.

  5. Jason330 says:

    Boehner agreed that tax rev. has to be part of the equation.

    The cliff is a scary outcome. Shouldn’t need long negotiations.

    Wants to extend Middle class cuts first.

  6. Jason330 says:

    Will take uncertainty off the table.

  7. Jason330 says:

    “Already passed int he Senate, all we need is action from the house.” ha ha ha

  8. Jason330 says:

    American people looking for… common sense

    Good luck finding that in the GOP congress.

  9. socialistic ben says:

    nice choice of a prop with the pen. It is all ready to go…. now it all up to the Cryin Wino.

  10. cassandra_m says:

    So is it possible? Simpson-Bowles is mainly off the table?

  11. Liberal Elite says:

    I like the way Obama wants to separate the middle class tax cuts from the rest. This puts tremendous pressure on the GOP.

    And if the GOP lets the middle class tax cut through, they’ve lost all leverage for pretty much everything else. It’s a total loss.

  12. Liberal Elite says:

    I also like the line about working with the NEXT congress…

    I see that as a subtle, but effective, threat. It seems that he is projecting his willingness to jump off that cliff…

  13. Delaware Dem says:

    Obama has all the leverage, and this statement convinces me that he is prepared to use it.

  14. Jason330 says:

    I didn’t pick that up DD. He still seemed like the compromiser in chief to me.

  15. socialistic ben says:

    “He still seemed like the compromiser in chief to me.”

    How can he be? Following up on V’s point from earlier…. He may have thought he was going to lose the election, and has been reinvigorated by his volunteers, base, and supporters. There is an air to the president that hasnt been there for almost 2 year. I think he now knows what the GOP is. He knows most of America knows what the GOP is, and HOPEFULLY he is ready to bury them before the American (lack of) attention span and memory kicks in and we’re back to 2009.

    Jason, i dont know if it was all snark and sarcasm, but your theory about 11 dimensional chess seems to be playing out all according to plan.

  16. puck says:

    Missed it – I’ll watch the whole thing on video. I’ll be looking for any sign of Obama joining the fiscal cliff hysteria. The thought of negotiating at the bottom of the cliff rather than the top clearly gives Republicans chills. That’s good enough for me to go off the cliff.

    And I’m having a good laugh over the sequester. Aren’t Repubs the ones who kept saying for years they wanted to take a meat axe to the budget? There are two tragedies in life. One is not getting your heart’s desire, and the other is getting it. Oscar Wilde, I think.

  17. Jason330 says:

    SB – you may be right. WH Press Secretary Jay Carney followed up the statement by telling the press that the President would veto a bill if it extends tax cuts to people over $250k

  18. cassandra_m says:

    I wasn’t quite able to watch the whole thing so am waiting for a transcript. But it sure sounded to me like he said that the tax cuts for those under $250K needed to be passed, and if not, all of the tax cuts expire.

  19. cassandra_m says:

    So now I’m watching the Press Briefing and they are talking about Petreus resigning because of an affair? Anyone else hear this or should I just stop trying to do two things at once?

  20. John Young says:

    I think Obama and Boehner both have quite a hand. It’s high stakes poker for sure. Both seeking accomplishment and legacy, one is a de jure lame duck.

    Going to be interesting. I predict GOP will cave significantly compared to 2011. But, I think Obama will give on SS.

    A real high wire act.