Obama Says Looming Fiscal Cliff Problem Is 'Solvable'

Category: US Politics / Nov 14, 2012 7:19PM EDT
In his first news conference since winning re-election last week, President Barack Obama said Republicans would have to agree to raise taxes on the wealthy. "We cannot afford to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. What we can do is make sure that middle-class taxes don't go up" Obama said, shortly before meeting with a dozen business leaders who are pushing policymakers to reach a deal. "I believe this is solvable. I think that fair-minded people can come to an agreement that does not cause the economy to go back into recession, that protects middle-class families, that focuses on jobs and growth and reduces our deficit" Obama said. Both Republicans and Democrats want to keep low income tax rates in place for middle-income and low-income households, but Democrats say the wealthiest 2 percent should have to pay the higher rates that were in place in the 1990s. Obama made increased taxes on the wealthy a centerpiece of his re-election campaign, and polls show public opinion is on his side.