WASHINGTON President Barack Obama is pressing for public support Monday to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, a day after he and House Speaker John Boehner met one-on-one for the first time to discuss ways to avert the “fiscal cliff.”
Neither side provided details of the weekend meeting at the White House. But with just three weeks until a flurry of tax increases and spending cuts start taking effect, the mere fact that the meeting happened was seen as progress.
Negotiations continue to center on whether to raise tax rates for the top two percent of income earners.
Obama, in a campaign-style speech to auto workers in Michigan on Monday, is expected to stress that he won’t sign a deal that doesn’t include higher tax rates for the wealthiest Americans.
While Republicans have long opposed that approach, some GOP lawmakers are suggesting the party relent on taxes in order to win concessions from the president on entitlement reforms.
And business leaders, tired of Washington’s partisan bickering creating uncertainty in the marketplace, are emphasizing the need to hammer out a deal before year’s end.
“The millions of people that work for us, their lives are in flux. And this is incredibly critical we get this done now,” said Jeffrey Immelt, GE’s chief executive and head of the presidential advisory council on competitiveness.
Immelt, in remarks aired Monday on CBS This Morning, added: “Everyone knows we need revenue,” because spending cuts alone won’t solve the problem.
Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.