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story.lead_photo.caption President Barack Obama is introduced by Jim McNerney, chief executive officer of The Boeing Co., before speaking about the "fiscal cliff" during an address before the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers, on Wednesday, Dec. 5,2012, in Washington. - Photo by AP/Charles Dharapak

— President Barack Obama warned Republicans on Wednesday against picking another fight over the nation’s debt ceiling, telling business leaders that it’s “not a game that I will play.”

Obama said in remarks to the Business Roundtable that he was aware of reports that Republicans may be willing to agree to higher tax rates on the wealthy as a way to avert the looming “fiscal cliff” and then come back next year with more leverage to extract spending cuts from the White House in exchange for raising the government’s borrowing limit.

“That is a bad strategy for America, it’s a bad strategy for your businesses, and it’s not a game that I will play,” Obama said, recalling the “catastrophe that happened in August of 2011.”

The president cited the prolonged and deeply partisan standoff over raising the U.S. debt limit last year that led the nation to the brink of default for the first time in its history.

If Congress and the White House don’t reach a budget deal, about $1.2 trillion in spending cuts and tax increases will automatically kick in starting Jan. 2, a scenario that’s been dubbed the “fiscal cliff” because it is likely to send the economy back into recession and drive up unemployment.

Meantime, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Republican leaders said Wednesday — prior to Obama’s remarks — that the White House had failed to offer a “balanced approach” that had a chance of clearing either chamber of Congress. “We can’t negotiate with ourselves,” Boehner said.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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  • Packman
    December 8, 2012 at 3:43 p.m.

    Hey BillSmigh - I was reading the story with an open mind until this: "Until she was fired, Nancy Alford...." The least objective source of any business operation is a terminated employee. I'm sure a hospital spokesperson would easily and simply refute the allegations, which doesn't necessarily make them true or false. Regardless, I assume your point is government can run America's health care system better than the private sector. Don't know about you, but I don't want my heart surgery to go to the hospital and doc submitting the lowest bid.

    Ever heard of the movie Atlas Shrugged? Next week my accountant is setting up a shell corporation to lessen my federal tax burden. With BH Obama in charge, I have vowed to pay as little to the feds as possible, even if it means skirting the law. I'm Atlas, and I just shrugged. Last night I signed the papers to make a purchase offer on some land adjoining my duck club. I also decided to hold more in Retained Earnings in my company than ever before. This means my employees' Christmas bonuses will be a little light this year. I'm Atlas, and I just shrugged. The next few years Atlas' across America will be shrugging in similar fashion with BH Obama in charge.

  • Populist
    December 8, 2012 at 7:36 p.m.


    For heaven's sake! Really, you are going to brag about cheating the government in print! LOL! How much wine have you had with your pilot friend?

  • FreeSpiritMan
    December 8, 2012 at 8:25 p.m.

    Packman, your mistatement was that you had an open mind.

  • RonalFos
    December 8, 2012 at 9:37 p.m.

    Packman, you just confessed to being a traitor to your country and you should be treated like one!

  • DontDrinkDatKoolAid
    December 8, 2012 at 10:45 p.m.

    Hey Packman – Nothing like protecting one's assets from an irrepressible government. Was that a pun about the duck club?
    It is a riot that folks think that the Government can run our health care system. Just look how the IRS ran the Mustang Ranch. That's right, they ran it into the ground.

  • NoCrossNoCrown
    December 9, 2012 at 1:10 a.m.

    I read some of the things that are posted here and wonder how some of these poor shumcks get out of bed let alone use a computer....
    It's not just the spending, it's the entitlement loopholes that only the mega rich can use to lower their tax rates while the average Joe does not make enough income to be able to take avantage of those loopholes. If you make $50k a year and have to pay 25% in tax, how if it fair that while I make $1.5mil and only pay 15%. If the tax code was fair, maybe both of us would only pay 20%. The tax code has become nothing but a money laundering scheme for the wealthy. The wealthy lobby congress to give them entitlement loop holes which is only fancy talk for saying it is a legal way to steal". Just because they can get congress to insert loopholes into laws does not make those loopholes moral. If you cheat on your spouse, you are not breaking any laws, but go home and explain to your spouse that your actions were legal... I would bet your spouse and their lawyer will show you legal

  • cliffcarson
    December 9, 2012 at 2:56 p.m.

    Estimates for Oil and Gas subsidies go as high as $52 Billion per year. There are about 26,000,000 families who are below the poverty level in America. It takes about 54,000 poor families to equal each $1 Billion in subsidies at the poverty level. Subsidies are a give away ( welfare) to the record profit making oil and gas companies. I recall just one oil company getting $14 Billion in subsidies a couple of years ago. They claimed a record profit for that year.
    But I do agree that something needs to be done. I notice that there are 126 different poverty programs. How many Government employees are involved and how many private companies? How much does the administration of these programs cost, how much does the private companies make, after deducting that money from the cost of poverty, how much is left for the poor family? When we start to look for ways to save money that is where we should start.