Same as his first term. Instead of immediately sitting down with Republican & Democrat leaders to work out a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, Obama is going on an Asian tour. Obama doesn’t want a tax deal nor does he have any plan to reduce his record deficits. We know where his priorities lay.
WASHINGTON — President Obama yesterday announced he’s jetting off on a victory lap around Southeast Asia, despite a new government report warning the Jan. 1 fiscal cliff will plunge the US into a recession and drive the unemployment rate up to 9.1 percent.
Obama and Congress have just 52 days to reach a deal to avoid sailing off that precipice, when a devastating double whammy of tax hikes and budget cuts will rock the economy and hit just about every American.
The negotiations will be difficult. Obama signaled he’s sticking to his demand for raising taxes on the wealthy. That’s long been a nonstarter with Republicans.
He will issue a statement today “about the action we need to take to keep our economy growing and reduce our deficit,” the White House said last night.
But those tense negotiations won’t interfere with Obama’s boarding Air Force One for a three-day tour of Bangkok, Rangoon and Phnom Penh.
Along the way, he’ll meet with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to mark 180 years of diplomatic relations, chat with Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi and attend the East Asia Summit in Cambodia. He takes off Nov. 17.
Meanwhile, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a report highlighting the economic shock that awaits America. The automatic spending cuts and tax increase will shrink the already anemic economy by 0.5 percent and cause the jobless rate to spike to 9.1 percent, the report predicted.
The average American family will pay an extra $2,000 to $3,000 in taxes after all of the Bush-era tax cuts expire Jan. 1, and about 1,200 government programs will experience spending cuts.