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Monday, March 25, 2019

President Obama will be spending New Year’s Eve in Washington, D.C.

In a brief speech at the White House Monday afternoon, the president said that a deal to resolve the so-called “fiscal cliff” was close, “but it’s not done.”

Vowing again to prevent taxes from going up on middle-class Americans, he said, “Middle-class families can’t afford it. Businesses can’t afford it. Our economy can’t afford it.”

While the outline of the deal emerging from the Senate would extend the Bush tax cuts on all incomes under $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for married couples, it doesn’t include the payroll tax holiday that began in 2010, meaning that taxes will go up for middle-class Americans in 2013.

However, the brunt of the new revenue will come from top earners, who will also see their itemized deductions capped at $250,000—$300,000 for joint filers. A total of $715 billion in revenue is said to be included in the package. How the sequestration of automatic spending cuts will be dealt with has not yet been resolved.

The president said that the deal includes tax credits for clean energy and parents but does not reach his goal of a large deficit deal. “But with this Congress, that was obviously a little too much to hope for at this time,” he said.

The president’s tone was light and he joked with the audience, who cheered him wildly.

The speech seemed designed to soothe liberal concerns about the bill and squarely place the blame for going over the cliff on the Republicans should negotiations fail. He vowed that any further deficit negotiations would have to result in “balanced” deals where the richest Americans are asked to pay some higher taxes in exchange for reforms to earned benefit programs like Medicare and Social Security.

Progressives have argued that the president could get a better deal closer to capping the tax increases at $250,000. But the White House reportedly feels there’s a chance that going over the cliff could lead to the House GOP passing a bill that raises the cap to as high as $1 million and Senate Democrats may go along with that.

Republicans are livid that the president seemed to be celebrating that tax rates on the top earners will be going up after House Republicans vowed that would not happen.

Whether or not the GOP leadership in the House decides to go along with a deal, it’s looking increasingly likely that there will be no vote on it until Tuesday, which, of course, is in 2013.

This means that we’ll have gone over the cliff, briefly, in case you need to settle a bet.

 Photo credit: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

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64 responses to “Obama Knocks Congress, Says Fiscal Cliff Deal ‘Within Sight’”

  1. An agreement will be reached, but it is bound to be disappointing for everyone. Where have all these people been since the end of the temporary Bush tax cuts was established and the GOP put in place the automatic spending reduction triggers over a year ago? Why do they always have to wait until the last minute to do something, and when they do it is always a bandaid that only prolongs the agony?

  2. dslocum says:

    Let’s hope for a good outcome for middle class America. It’s way past time for the richest Americans and the big corporations to pay their fair share !!!!!!!

    I must say I’m tremendously disappointed that the President gave Congress a pay raise. It’s absolutely inappropriate under the circumstances. They have not done their job, yet they’ve taken their paychecks. They should be paying back their salaries rather than getting a raise! What were you thinking, President Obama ???????????

    • montanabill says:

      He probably figured that anyone ignorant enough to believe his ‘not paying their fair share’ malarkey wouldn’t notice a pay increase for Congress.

    • lexi001 says:

      I imagine he thought he’d better give them a raise if he wanted any kind of agreement from them. Bad reason! It wouldn’t matter if he gave them his own entire wealth, they still wouldn’t go along with him

    • DurdyDawg says:

      Goes to show, they’re only concerned about their welfare.

    • lechtenberg says:

      The President doesn’t decide on Congressional pay raises….the Congress grants their own pay raises. Everything to do with spending, at the governmental level, must be initiated and passed by the House of Representatives.
      I’m only mentioning this because I want people to understand that our President is not a dictator, and most everything is decided by other bodies of government.

      • It was an executive order. He did give them a raise without Congress this time

        • RobertCHastings says:

          This was not an executive order, as you seem to think. It is due to a bill passed by a biparetisan Congress at least a dozen years ago which gives Congress an AUTOMATIC raise every year, UNLESS they enact new legislation that counters that law. Congress does not even review their automatic pay raise. However, what Obama CAN and SHOULD do is refuse to sign any law that includes money for congressional pay raises. They make an average of over $180K, plus perks and postage, plus even one-termers receive a generous pension, plus the best health care package on the planet. We have made this too inviting and tempting, plus they receive emoluments and other payments that, in some jurisdictions, would probably be considered bribes.

          • You are so right Robert Hastings. This is one of the many things that certainly needs to change. Congress is doing nothing except making total a–holes of themselves and of the American people.

        • No, it is not an Executive Order. In 1989 Congress passed an amendment allowing for the automatic raises, unles lawmakers specifically voted to reject it. Which Congress did until 2000. The fiscal year 2004 Transportation Department Appropriations bill included Congress’ 2.2 per cent pay raise, along with a 4.1 percent raise for federal workers and military personnel. Members of Congress have the only job in the country whose occupants can set their own salary without regard to performance, profit, or economic climate. Clearly, members must think that money grows on trees. With a $480 billion defiucit, the escalating cost of the war in Iraq, and a stagnent economy, Congress should be curbing spending, not lining their pockets at our expense.

        • President Obama did sign an Executive Order authorizing a pay raise for all members of Congress and the Supreme Court Justices. I agree with those who believe that was very disappointing, inasmuch as most members of Congress did not earn that pay raise.
          Executive Orders have been used in the past for multiple reasons, Bush II used them routinely to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the war on terror and other endeavors without congressional appropriations or authorization.

      • He is a dictator and he is full of himself. He does not care about the people like me and yes you, he only cares about number one.

        • Get some education! Learn what a dictatorship is and quit being a child!

        • RobertCHastings says:

          And, let’s see, George W. DIDN’T rule by presidential fiat? Interesting how short your memories are, especially when you accuse a Democrat of doing something one of your own has done W used the presidential signing ploy more than any other president in history, he has made more recess appointments, and has done more things that, if anyone else did them, would be threatened with impeachment, which fate he dearly deserved. And the Supremes that elected him in 2000 should also be impeached – interesting how they stated that the reasoning they used would never be able to be applied to any other similar case. And you folks complain about activist judges!

        • Gee you make more than 400,000 a year as a single person or 450,000 as a couple? Then no, Obama doesn’t care about you..Why? Because if this is the case, you, my dear, are all set…Does he care about people like me and most people I know..hard working middle income earners? Hell yeah!

      • Betta says:

        You are blind, misled and drunk on his koolaid, lechtenberg. The federal pay raises were done by Executive Order. Look it up. HE ORDERED those pay raises across the board. Looks like you’ve got some hard core research to catch up on.

        You think he’s not a dictator? You haven’t been paying attention. Maybe you should put down your free phone and do some research to see what you’re in for.

        This illegal alien dictator rules by executive order. He doesn’t follow the rule of law, which he swore to uphold in this Constitutional Republic. You DO remember the Constitution don’t you? The one your messiah wipes his arse with daily.

        When will you guys pull your heads out and see what’s really going on? It’s all right there in your faces, yet you are still blind to it.

        • lechtenberg says:

          Betta, the only action he took was to lift the 2 or 3 year freeze on federal pay raises that he enacted, I believe in 2010. The President doesn’t have that power, Congress does and uses it to their own advantage. What a surprise!

    • RobertCHastings says:

      Check your facts. The president DID NOT give Congress a pay raise. In fact, president Obama has NEVER signed a bill having anything to do with the compensation for members of Congress; they receive an automatic raise, every year, based on a piece of legislation passed years ago.

    • Betta says:

      Those raises he did by executive order amount to $1 BILLION. I read the report on it today. His recent Hawaii vacation cost the taxpayers around $4 Million.

      This country is circling the drain and he gives federal pay raises of that much money, taxpayer money…your money.

      Oh, but he’s not done. His supporters are in for a rude awakening when they get their first paychecks of 2013. And don’t make any plans for that tax refund check. You may not be getting one. Time to bend over. Here it comes!

      • oldtack says:

        Before you display your abysmal lack of intelligence for all the world to see why don’t you take a few minutes to access the net for laws governing COLA % and GDP.
        There is a procedure or “law” that predicates cost of living adjustments for Federal workers which also includes elected officials. You can find all of this on the net. It has not one thing to do with the President or Executive Order.

        Quit embarrassing yourself by asinine wailing about that of which you know nothing.

  3. spinchange says:

    I consider myself “liberal” and I don’t make even close to this kind of money, so I realize this will sound heretical or out-of-touch, but the 250K line in the sand was always a touch too low.

    The main reason is that 250K is not the same in say, Nebraska, as it is in NYC. It would’ve been fairer to start with 250K as a baseline but adjusted for geographic median income. Of course, raising taxes at all is a huge lift so adding complexity like that makes it a hard sell all the way around. Bottom line, moving to between 400-500K is splitting the difference with Boehner’s Plan B -that he couldn’t even get 100% of his caucus on board with. So, I think this is a calculated compromise, *not* a cave. There are other moving parts too. They’ll probably get a bump on cap gains and even the estate tax.

    The LAST thing we want is to go over the cliff and see low income earners and folks living paycheck-to-check hit hardest by withholding rates spiking & then twist in the wind for a few weeks while a new (still dysfunctional) Congress sorts it out.

  4. And all McCain has to say is wey, wey, cry, cry, he insulted us for not doing our job. Fire them all I say.

  5. andrewhiggins says:

    I beleive he was thinking about Congress like he always thinking about us. thats the good person he his.

  6. tman000 says:

    This Congress has a 11 or 12% approval rating, and we’re seeing why… America in a crisis, not from a foreign threat, but one caused by ourselves and our failed leadership. The Constitution says that our National budget originate in Congress, where are they? Yes, humans are not perfect, but this is ridiculous…my grandkids doesn’t get along all the time but they know not to upset the whole family, Congress hasn’t figured that out, most of Americans are upset and these guys and gals are dumb enough to continue the same old stuff.

    We had an election (Nov 6th) and all of it didn’t come out like I wanted either, however it is what most Americans wanted and thats our way, per the Constitution, Democracy at work. Congress and Politicos need to except it though compromise… ‘my thoughts’

  7. stsintl says:

    Congress needs an overhaul. The way to do it is; do not re-elect the senators after one term of six years. Do not re-elect any House member beyond three-terms [total of six years]. No pensions for six year service in the Congress. No life-time permanent job. Serve the nation’s interest and they go back to where they came from.

  8. That’s a big problem for progressives. We consider social security, medicare, medicaid, unemployment payments, etc. earned benefits and not entitlements. Entitlements are what the super rich are getting.

  9. ronaldhyams says:

    If this is true it proves all we need is small government. Just convene congress every two years five days before their term expires., IT WOULD BE LIKE A CONGRESSIONAL SUPER BOWL and
    who knows how money we could earn for sponsoring it on television.

  10. tuco_bad says:

    Another Cave In by Obama. No wonder the Republicans consider Obama a joke.

  11. all politics and gimmicks. They don’t have any other work. Needlessly create tensions and stress. Ultimately what works is whatever Obama says.

  12. kathyfanning says:

    Well, we’re getting to see first hand what the wack=a=doo tea party is able to control. Be very afraid, very afraid. The country is going to be destroyed by the right wing. From one extreme to the other !!!

  13. Landsende says:

    This is the most disfunctional, do nothing congress in history. Why are they still getting paid? They should all be fired and lose all their benefits.

  14. arlkrieg says:

    If the tax cuts go over $250K I will feel abandoned and betrayed by the President and sorry that I ever voted for him. Also, the payroll tax deduction will be gone!!! Please tell me why he seemed so gleeful when he spoke at 1:30 pm today? He is going to let his base down. Hope the Dems in congress won’t go along and will reject this plan and sail over the cliff

  15. Doug says:

    I thought taxes were not going up on the middle class!! Not giving them the payroll tax holiday basically raises the taxes that will be taken out of their checks—sure sounds like a tax increase anyway you spin it. After the last 2 years of obstruction you go and give them a raise—now there’s a real joke!!

    • oldtack says:

      Let’s back up and look at the whole scenario.

      2001 – Congress, with the blessing of the New President enacted a Tax reduction of X% for ALL. Citing more money for Business Enterprises to enlarge and hire more employees etc. After all the backroom politics it was agreed that this tax reduction would expire after 10 years ((2011).At that time taxes would revert to the same taxes that were in effect in 2001. No tax increase – just a reversion to the actual tax base before the 10 year “gift”.

      2008 – after eight years of two unfunded Wars and massive spending (borrowed money) this Nation was on the abyss of total dissolution. Banks, Auto MFG., and many institutions were folding at which time there was a massive “bailout” to try and salvage what could be salvaged. This was pushed through in a rare bi-partisan effort and approved by President Bush and it was a good decision.

      The next two years the Nation was still in free fall mode and the new President enacted a payroll tax reduction to last X amount of time.

      Both cuts were not permanent cuts but were in effect a certain length of time.

      2010 – President Obama extended the tax cuts for an additional two years with the declaration that they would expire permanently at that time. and it has remained in the sausage grinder we call Congress .

      2011 – the effect of the past 11 years of diminished revenue and excessive borrowing necessitated the need to increase the National Debt Ceiling. Partisan positioning and fighting brought about a downgrade of our Credit Rating resulting in a higher interest rate on our National debt loss of our triple A credit rating . After teetering on the brink of default a last hour decree was proffered by Congress outlining stringent requirements in reduction cuts to off set Debt limit increases. This was accepted with a provision that a super committee composed of six members from each party to examine this bill and made needed changes where needed. This committee failed to act and today we face enactment of this law.

      Now – all we citizens decry ” They’re increasing my taxes” No they are not increasing your taxes. The Government gave you a 12 year reduction of X% per year (a bonus) and now you are reverting back to what your 2001 tax rate was when this all began. That 12 year windfall should have amounted to several thousand dollars over the 12 year span – what did you do with the extra money. Did you save it? did you invest it? Or did you blow it on whims and fancies? It was after all – free money.

  16. gloriay says:

    While it is disappointing that congress would allow the middle class, small businesses, the working class and the poor to be stuck with higher taxes and not care about it, we should be heartened to know that the President WILL do everything in is power to prevent us from paying higher taxes. Let us keep in mind that 2014 will be fast approaching and that we WILL have the pleasure of voting the wretched GOP out of office. He who laughs last laughs best.

  17. bh1202 says:

    The republican congress and senate are making sure everyone suffers EXCEPT the wealthiest and, of course, themselves.

  18. robert says:

    Realistically, where is the unified Democratic support behind the President? I don’t see the strong support from Democrats the way you see the damn-it-to-hell support in Republicans/Tea Bags. I see Yellow Dog Democrats trying to lean toward Republican/Tea Bag plans to raise taxes on the middle-class and save the rich from suffering taxes on their millions and billions of dollars. I see them willing to sell out the President to keep from making waves with treasonous Republicans/Tea Bags. But the Obama/Biden administration understand that the economy and the deficit can’t be fixed without the wealthiest of us paying their fair share of taxes. They should want to do it automatically. Aren’t they Americans? Aren’t we deluded by the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, or is that the problem? Are we too fascinated with them, do we glorify and give deference to them over ourselves? I think the Rich and the Famous need a large dose of humble pie and re-taught how to be Americans

  19. If the Congress had to give up their salary or get fired when they didn’t do their job, this would not happen. I would also remind Congress that President Obama and Hillary Clinton are the most admired people in 2012. Not them. They (especially the Teapubs) would be good to remember that they can be fired. Next election. I for one will not be sad to see them go. On top of being uncompromising they have the gall to say Hillary is not ill. They haven’t the sense to be ashamed of themselves. I say Go Obama over the Cliff. The President has compromised with these idiots long enough. Now it is their turn.

  20. Rossi says:

    I have faith in President O bama that he will stand by the american people as he said he would. His agenda shouldn’t change because of the speaker and his people want face reality.
    It’s not about you Boehner and you Reid

  21. Doctor T says:

    Re-dubling-downers! That is so much BS from them! Hatered and obstructionism is running rampant with these idiots and they don’t now know what to do to save face from the lack of co-operation and willingness to put aside differences and work out a deal.

  22. rodrigo says:

    Lets hope the US Senate will pass the financial CLIFF’ and the President will sign it, it will be good year for all of us with the exception of the US Congress(Republican), they will suffer this coming election, I think they should think about this what will happen to them. What a shame. Just pay attention, US Congress (Republican) this coming election………

  23. Lying sack of ……………. What happened to America……. Went to shit regardless of party Everyone wants to blame everyone scape gouts are what we are about!! Don;t blame the President for trying to help the American public. Hello- who did you vote for -this works both ways -Duh

  24. bchrista says:

    I am begining to realize that President Obama has more than one opponent to worry about, we ‘ve got some Republicans passing themselves off as Democratsand Obama doesn’t really know how these turncoats will vote in the final stage,Obama knows this and he can’t show his full hand until voting time rolls around, he has already seen how they have behaved at times during the talks, so people we need to be alert and spot them and add them to the list of those that we need to vote out in 2014 If we go back to 2004 we had a Democratic congress that did nothing but sit on their ass and that’s why we lost the Congress, we have come too far we can’t let that happen again.

  25. Betta says:

    He “joked” with the audience? He thinks this is funny? He laughs in our faces and those who support him sanction it.

  26. Betta says:

    “No, it is not an Executive Order.”

    Ummmm, yes, it was by executive order like he does everything else that he knows won’t fly with the American People. There’s plenty reports telling us he did this by executive order. In other words, he’s flipping us the finger.

  27. Betta says:

    No, you need to check YOUR facts, Robert. These are federal pay increases which amount to $1 BILLION, put into action by HIS Executive Order.

  28. Betta says:

    “If the tax cuts go over $250K I will feel abandoned and betrayed by the President”

    Now you are beginning to catch on about what is going to happen to you. Can’t say you weren’t warned. I didn’t vote for him. I knew before his first term what he was all about. See, he didn’t fool me. Saw right through him from the start.

    • oldtack says:

      From your forum entry

      “I KNEW before his first term what he was all about. See, He didn’t fool me? Saw right through him from the start.
      My – such such intuition or was it clairvoyance?

      I feel it is Imperative that that you expound your great knowledge upon all so that we may share in this dazzling revelation of divine absolute truth.If it is indeed what you proclaim.

      Do you possess this great knowledge – or are you akin to an old Texas Attorney, who shall remain anonymous . He was a highly successful Lawyer whose backroom motto was
      “If you can’t dazzle them with your brilliance then I baffle them with your bullshit.”


  29. bchrista says:

    I have been sitting here in front of my computer reading the National Memo getting angrier by the moment seeing these pundts that write under the names, CannisterCook, MontanaBill, LanaWard,Onedonewong and the list goes on and on these mother-fucking asshole kissers of the far right have the balls complaining that we are wrong and abusing the Senators and Congressmen that are suppose to be representing us in Washington but instead are looking out for big business and the 2 Two Percenters You talk about leeches, these sons-a-bitches are crying about a measely 1.7 percent cola that we the recepents of a Social Securitycheck are suppose to receive this year because they claim it is hurting the budget not concerning the facts that they are talking about our money that we paid in all these years through hard work and sweat these asshole pundts don’t mind paying these politicians almost 200,ooo a year for about two days a month for appearing in the Halls of Congress to do nothing but be obstructionist to the President and the are not satisfied with what they are paid they are demanding a $900 dollars raise that they voted themselves, that sounds about right grudgingly give us Seniors a $21 dollar raise a month and give themselves a $900 dollar raise and then they want to cut our checks because they claim we are helping to bring the country to it’s knee when everyone knows that Social Security has nothing to do with the Budget, they beleive that if they can get Obama to agree to cut Social Security and Medicare they will anger one of his voting bases and turn the people against him they know he ran on a no cut to these two programs and that will weaken his position in the Budget talks these snivering fucking asshoke Reprensentives are the one that are paid more in one month than the total amount I get in a year to live on, that sounds fair don’t it? I mean we are tlking about millionaires getting paid $200,000 a year wanting a $900 dollar raise a month yet would deny me 1.7 cola don’t that just grab your ass and make you want too feel sorry for them, these are the sons-a-bitches that these pundts defend, these are the ones that belong to the millionaires and billionaires that these sorry bastards defend may God or someone have mercy on us and this country and one more thing the Republicans said that the President and the Democrats would cave in to their demands and it looks like they knew what they were talking about according to the new deal that was reached. Programs that were off bounds on the no cuts list seem to have found their way to the cutting table looks like you can’t trust anybody these days they will say anything to get elected Obama has turned his back on the ones that helped him get elected maybe next time we should all vote Independent and kick both parties out. I don’t know what to say I would have bet my life that Obama wouldn’t cave in but he did and so will Senator Reid along with the rest of the Democrats that’s what is known as NO BALLS.

  30. bchrista says:


  31. oldtack says:

    Do you get all this illogical “logic” from One News Now, Freedom outpost, or the Daily Caller? I note you are a frequent visitor/ contributor on these sites. It is now apparent why you are so fouled up in your comprehension of reality.

  32. charleo1 says:

    A word of caution to those with whom I share a great deal of agreement. Before you fly off the
    handle, accusing President Obama of selling out, giving away too much, or otherwise betraying
    the people. I would suggest, with all respect, we look to ourselves first. How about, as
    a show of our disdain, millions of progressives sit home in 2014? And how did that work out
    for us in 2010? Well, it didn’t work out very well. In fact, we’re still paying for it. And, the President, and our progressive wings in Congress are still dealing with it. And one more thing.
    The President’s constituency, many of them are Americans living on a razor’s edge. Unlike the
    millionaires, and billionaires, who’s interests are protected almost exclusively by the Right.
    The President does not have the luxury of allowing things to fall apart for maximum effect.
    It would result in unacceptable hardship for far too many of the people we, like the President,
    must consider in our fight with the extremists. It is a cross we bear proudly. But we need to
    realize the seriousness, and the radicalism of the opposition. And the fight to protect the
    economic heart of America, by keeping the Middle Class out of poverty, has just begun.

  33. msrita says:

    Vote mid-term republicans out of office. They are acting like bloods and crips

  34. msrita says:

    Ask them to take a 30% pay cut to help real Americans. No recess pay and pay for their own Private Jets. Get off the taxpayers backs. Since most of you are are worth millions. Pay your dues.

  35. gargray says:

    I don’t think the repubs will go along with anything the democrat put in this bill. They want it their way or no way. So all the blame will be on the right wing. They don’t believe for and by the poeople, the majority doesn’t matter to them, spoiled little brats. So we take away their seats by voting against them and their policies.

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