Open thread: Obama presser on “fiscal cliff”

posted at 1:01 pm on November 9, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama is scheduled to speak on the “fiscal cliff” at 1:15 pm ET today, which means of course that it will probably start closer to 1:30. If so, that won’t be the only familiar aspect of the conversation today.  We’ve been here at least twice during the Obama administration — once immediately after the 2010 midterms, and then again during the summer of 2011.  We’re having this conversation today because we keep kicking the same can down the same road in order to avoid the political consequences of addressing the budgetary and fiscal crises that face the nation.

Will this be any different?  Both sides now say they want to work together, but National Journal’s Major Garrett writes that it will take something for which Obama hasn’t displayed any capacity in four years — flexibility:

Obama has a durable coalition and an undisputed knack for mobilization. He is a campaign innovator and organizer of the first order. But to succeed on his own checklist of second-term pursuits—immigration, tax reform, deficit reduction, and climate change—he will have to do more with the institutional powers of the presidency in conflict with the legislative powers wielded by a Republican House.

The conundrum for Obama is that if he is to succeed, he must decide whether to use his reelection’s apparent endorsement of progressivism as a safe harbor of inactivity or dilute it, to the consternation of his base, and give some ground on the scope and generosity of the entitlement state, the strangling cords of debt, and the inefficiency of the tax code. Democrats sense an Obama desire to shape-shift, but no one is quite sure. That means that the biggest tell in the poker game of all poker games will be found in the lame-duck resolution, or irresolution, of the fiscal cliff.

The president will have to summon his coalition to face hard realities and fateful choices, not all of them comforting, on the questions of aligning what government can do, what taxpayers can finance, and how the books all come into better balance.

Garrett also points out that the economy is now squarely Obama’s, and any damage done now will be owned by the Democrats, not George Bush:

Obama can and will press for immigration reform, and he may get nearly as much as President George W. Bush sought—maybe more, if Republicans shift their sights to their party’s huge demographic hole that the 2012 election starkly revealed among Hispanics. Obama can wrap his arms around the task of reforming the byzantine tax code and, along the way, spike the political football after having won the fight over higher taxes on the wealthy (he did, and so did Senate Democratic victors in MassachusettsNorth DakotaOhio, andWisconsin). But he will have to face the hard reality that higher taxes on the wealthy (even at a $250,000 threshold that may give way to $500,000 or $1 million in congressional negotiations) won’t come close to solving the nation’s deficit and debt ills. The greatest deficit-cutting mechanism is a vibrant economy (see Clinton-era growth, arithmetic). And no matter how much or how little Obama moves the hinge of history, his party will not be able four years hence to blame Bush the younger for economic underperformance.

The economy is now squarely Obama’s, and managing the full implementation of the health care and financial-reform laws will be daunting. Both have profound and as-yet-unfelt tax and regulatory implications.

Will he recognize this and offer some “flexibility” today in search of long-term solutions?  Or will he declare a mandate for tax hikes and offer only the same lip service to serious reform that Obama barely mentioned during his presidential campaign, and which didn’t even rate a serious mention in the second-term agenda pamphlet that showed up in the last two weeks of the election?  And will the press get a chance to ask a few questions of their own — especially about Benghazi?

If I can find a live embed, I will include it in the post.


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Obeezy still the Preezy? Shouldn’t he be hanging out the Jay Z?

El_Terrible on November 9, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Convene a meeting of academics who have never produced anything of value in their entire short lives, then don’t take their recommendations.

This is all Kabuki. And Obama is really grotesque in all that white face paint.

tom daschle concerned on November 9, 2012 at 1:04 PM

AHAHAHAHAHAHA. This man, about to lecture all of America on “fiscal sanity.”

Is it too early to drink?

Aizen on November 9, 2012 at 1:04 PM

“Bush”
“Republicans”
“The ditch”
“mandate”
“middle class”

Etc.

portlandon on November 9, 2012 at 1:05 PM

I don’t see totus? Can this become the NEW for bho?
L

letget on November 9, 2012 at 1:05 PM

No matter what happens the GOP will be blamed. Why not make it count?

rhombus on November 9, 2012 at 1:05 PM

We’ve crossed the fiscal line…this whole thing is nothing more than a hoax being perpetrated on the American people…

PatriotRider on November 9, 2012 at 1:06 PM

I have an idea – LETS BLAME THE REPUBLICANS !!

FlaMurph on November 9, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Let it frickin burn. Less than 1/2 of us apparently care so hunker down and watch the freak show when it catches fire.

Like a kid “I want my candy” over and over and over. Give it to ‘em and watch the puke.

OK a bit bitter still but really had enough.

landowner on November 9, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Thanks, Ed, for covering this. I, however, will not be listening to this lying sack of sh!t, as I need to save as much ammo as possible for the coming collapse, and wasting it on television or computer screens is counterproductive to that effort.

TXUS on November 9, 2012 at 1:07 PM

The socialists zombies are unleashed……

redguy on November 9, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Just more recycled bullsh!t from the King.

Let it burn.

JPeterman on November 9, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Who cares? Really, who cares what he has to say. Winning was his only goal.

Nick_Angel on November 9, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Ugh. 4 more years of his patronizing preacher voice.

p0s3r on November 9, 2012 at 1:08 PM

not looking forward to 4 more years of that smile…

trailortrash on November 9, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Obama’s going to focus on jobs now! HOOOOORAY!! FINALLY!

El_Terrible on November 9, 2012 at 1:09 PM

We’re going to rebuild our roads and bridges!

El_Terrible on November 9, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Whatever happens, the House should not start the negotiations. Make Obama make the first offer. And if it is as bad as his offers usually are, just let the Senate vote on it. It ill probably go down unanimously.

besser tot als rot on November 9, 2012 at 1:10 PM

I couldn’t stand to watch Barky before the election and I still can’t watch him. Every lie, every I,I,I and me, me, me drives me insane. His actions and inaction in Benghazi and his policies that have driven us to the edge and almost off the fiscal cliff won’t be undone now. He’s got exactly what he wants– America on her knees. The idiots who voted for him deserve what they get.

Slainte on November 9, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Let it frickin burn. Less than 1/2 of us apparently care so hunker down and watch the freak show when it catches fire.

landowner on November 9, 2012 at 1:06 PM

It pains me that I agree with you, but I do.
Second look at red state blue state divorce?
No alimony though.

libertynow on November 9, 2012 at 1:10 PM

We can’t cut our way to prosperity. We need the wealthy to pay more taxes.

El_Terrible on November 9, 2012 at 1:11 PM

TXUS on November 9, 2012 at 1:07 PM

We don’t watch if we can possibly help it, but we MUTE his voice on the tube. I was hoping not to deal with this any longer, but guess I will need more remotes when the mute goes?
L

letget on November 9, 2012 at 1:11 PM

GOP needs to let all tax cuts expire. Screw this guy.

El_Terrible on November 9, 2012 at 1:11 PM

I see on Twitter that he was actually early.

Maybe he really has been humbled.////

Flora Duh on November 9, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Major Garrote is smoking some good stuff…again!

This economy has been PBHO’s since the end of 2009 and he still convinced enough dolts that it belonged to Booooosh. The dhims will still be able to blame Booooosh with the adoring help of the MSM.

He can say what he wants, but I didn’t hear him ask any pointed questions of PBHO the last four(4) years.

belad on November 9, 2012 at 1:11 PM

“We can’t cut our way to prosperity, more new taxes”

There it is.

JPeterman on November 9, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Let the fiscal cliff arrive, flush the system down the toilet, the minority is better prepared than the majority…only then will traditional and conservative values rule again…until that happens, we are merely along for the ride.

Elections have consequences…brace for impact…

PatriotRider on November 9, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Why are we trying to avoid the fiscal cliff anyway?

That’s about the best real chance we have on any deficit reduction. If the economy falters it will just affect Obama voters more anyway. Let it all burn and let them starve.

jhffmn on November 9, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Balanced balanced balanced balanced…zzzzzzzzzzzz

rhombus on November 9, 2012 at 1:12 PM

He says first priority is jobs and growth!
Ah, thanks goodness. You mean he’s actually gonna PIVOT now?
Wow, what a man of action!

TarheelBen on November 9, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Still not listening to him. I hate his voice. I hate his phony smile. I hate his “earnest concerned” face. Most importantly, I hate the way he lies, straight-faced, about everything and no one, but no one ever calls him out. With the exception of poor Joe Miller, that is. Look where that got him.

totherightofthem on November 9, 2012 at 1:12 PM

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere…

b1jetmech on November 9, 2012 at 1:12 PM

We can make investments while cutting deficit… refuses to ask seniors and students to pay down the deficit while people making over $200,000 don’t have to pay a dime in taxes.

El_Terrible on November 9, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Ron Paul said earlier we already went off the cliff. I’m just sayin’.

TarheelBen on November 9, 2012 at 1:13 PM

We can’t cut our way to prosperity. We need the wealthy to pay more taxes.

El_Terrible on November 9, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Works in Cuba and Venezuela. Make it 100%.

the_nile on November 9, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Mark my words, 401K’s are in their sights.

Mr. Arrogant on November 9, 2012 at 1:13 PM

I’m in an airport and therefore involuntarily exposed to CNN.

Two hilarious quotes:

1) Talking head: Americans are hungry to see some emotion from the president.

My thoughts: Soon, Americans are going to be just plain hungry.

2) O’dinglenuts: It’s time to get back to work.

Well, I never stopped working, how about you Mr. “President”? How’s that economy coming along? Figured out what happened at our station in Benghazi yet?

mr.blacksheep on November 9, 2012 at 1:13 PM

“If congress fails to come to agreement, everybody’s taxes will go up”

CLAP CLAP CLAP

El_Terrible on November 9, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Obama’s going to focus on jobs now! HOOOOORAY!! FINALLY!

El_Terrible on November 9, 2012 at 1:09 PM

.

Priorities.

Lets not get buffaloed though ….every new Food Stamp recipient IS STILL a vote for the Democom Party.

Keep that balance between Jobs~Food Stamps – Shared sacrifice and all.

FlaMurph on November 9, 2012 at 1:14 PM

We can’t cut our way to prosperity. We need the wealthy to pay more taxes.

El_Terrible on November 9, 2012 at 1:11 PM

When PBHO defines the WEALTHY as anyone making more than $25,000, then you may get enough revenue to work on the debt.

Its’ the SPENDING..STUPID!

belad on November 9, 2012 at 1:14 PM

“Investments”

aka

Spend! Spend! Spend!

JPeterman on November 9, 2012 at 1:14 PM

He says we cut 1 trillion in spending. We did? Wow, thanks Barry!

TarheelBen on November 9, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Pass this bill… right now!

rhombus on November 9, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Ugh. 4 more years of his patronizing preacher voice.

p0s3r on November 9, 2012 at 1:08 PM

I am thankful for one thing.

I don’t have to hear,”Guvnu Romneh”

Any More.

Tenwheeler on November 9, 2012 at 1:14 PM

“Nobody wants taxes to go up on people making less than $250,000″

“pass middle class taxes right now”

El_Terrible on November 9, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Does anyone really CARE what BH0 has to say? Does anyone really believe he’s going to say anything truthful or meaningful? He doesn’t need press conferences any more…he’s in the catbird seat.

bigbeachbird on November 9, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Tax the rich! I’m so excited! ALL THESE NEW IDEAS!

TarheelBen on November 9, 2012 at 1:15 PM

“I’ve got a pen, ready to sign the bill right away”

El_Terrible on November 9, 2012 at 1:15 PM

He just blamed the Republican’s.

JPeterman on November 9, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Balanced balanced balanced balanced…zzzzzzzzzzzz

rhombus on November 9, 2012 at 1:12 PM

.
“Did I mention…Balanced ?”

FlaMurph on November 9, 2012 at 1:15 PM

I can’t believe he is not going to move 1 inch off his mark!

CoffeeLover on November 9, 2012 at 1:15 PM

“If congress fails to come to agreement, everybody’s taxes will go up”

CLAP CLAP CLAP

El_Terrible on November 9, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Thanks to you and the Dems in Congress Mr. President, everybody’s taxes will go up ANYWAY.

Fail.

Tenwheeler on November 9, 2012 at 1:15 PM

More kabuki. Let all the Bush cuts expire. Let the great unwashed keep their precious PBS and Planned Parenthood subsidies. They won’t have jobs, but at least they’ll have Big Bird.

Give them what they voted for…more spending, more debt, less growth.

changer1701 on November 9, 2012 at 1:15 PM

That’s it?

JPeterman on November 9, 2012 at 1:16 PM

We need to call our congressmen and Senators… Rush Levin, we need to let these EVIL tax cuts expire.

El_Terrible on November 9, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Man, leaders are actually going to the White House!!
He invited them!!
BARRY, YOU’RE THE GREATEST!!

TarheelBen on November 9, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Well, as long as he makes it clear we should come together, put aside our partisan bickering, leave the old, tired, failed policies of the past and embrace the changes that are necessary to move America forward, create comprehensive reform and policies that address our current crisis, that it should not take and cannot take an indefinite amount of time, but should be addressed immediately . . .

Um. Sorry, forgot what it was I was talking about –

Oh, yeah, “Fiscal Cliff.”

. . . that he will be forming a committee immediately, run by a qualified chair, to create a plan —-

Axe on November 9, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Rubber stamp.

Vote “present”.

Let it burn.

The Rogue Tomato on November 9, 2012 at 1:17 PM

More kabuki. Let all the Bush cuts expire. Let the great unwashed keep their precious PBS and Planned Parenthood subsidies. They won’t have jobs, but at least they’ll have Big Bird.

Give them what they voted for…more spending, more debt, less growth.

changer1701 on November 9, 2012 at 1:15 PM

I agree…

mnjg on November 9, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Thanks, Ed, for covering this. I, however, will not be listening to this lying sack of sh!t, as I need to save as much ammo as possible for the coming collapse, and wasting it on television or computer screens is counterproductive to that effort.

TXUS on November 9, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Haven’t listened to him since Ft Hood.

tencole on November 9, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Over now.

We need to come out and support the Clinton tax rates.

El_Terrible on November 9, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Is he taking a balanced approach to blaming others?

forest on November 9, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Garrett also points out that the economy is now squarely Obama’s, and any damage done now will be owned by the Democrats, not George Bush:

Well, it should be, but for some reason i think even after 8 years of Obama dems will still blame Bush.

clearbluesky on November 9, 2012 at 1:17 PM

New GOP strategy should be, give Obama everything he wants; EXCEPT Gun Control…

PatriotRider on November 9, 2012 at 1:18 PM

I’ve heard that he won’t be taking any questions. It will be up to the Morning Zoo on 100.5 FM to get these answers.

Mark1971 on November 9, 2012 at 1:18 PM

He speaks and the miniscule gains the market made today are busy disappearing. . ..

totherightofthem on November 9, 2012 at 1:18 PM

It pains me that I agree with you, but I do.
Second look at red state blue state divorce?No alimony though.

libertynow on November 9, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Works for me, and I always considered that crazy talk, but what do you do when differences are irreconcilable? Opposing ideas can’t occupy the same space.

Split it up. What do you say? We get most of the Mountain West, most of the Southwest, the Plains states, Texas of course, and the South, including Florida.

I’m fine with giving up the entire West Coast, the upper Midwest, the Rust Belt, the Northeast, and part of the mid-Atlantic (Maryland and NOVA). Have to sacrifice places like Idaho and Montana to allow them to connect across the continent.

We get Alaska; they get Hawaii.

Nick_Angel on November 9, 2012 at 1:18 PM

I don’t know why anyone thinks “blame Bush” won’t continue. It’s continued to this point in defiance of all reason, with no D offering a coherent reason why Bush was responsible for the lousy economy of the last four years.

D’s controlled both branches of Congress and the White House throughout 2009-10. The economy has been theirs to own for a long long time.

Don’t assume they’ll now concede that blaming Bush is nonsensical. It’s been nonsensical all along but it hasn’t stopped them.

Chuckles3 on November 9, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Well, that’s it!! He’s now thinking about his LEGACY!!

TarheelBen on November 9, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Soooo, a short speech that pretty much said, “I won. On with the class warfare!”

How helpful.

WannabeAnglican on November 9, 2012 at 1:19 PM

I will never watch him again, not that I did.

MontanaMmmm on November 9, 2012 at 1:19 PM

New GOP strategy should be, give Obama everything he wants; EXCEPT Gun Control…

PatriotRider on November 9, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Almost.. Cave on taxes, say NO to everything else (amnesty, gun control, card check)

El_Terrible on November 9, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Is he taking a balanced approach to blaming others?

forest on November 9, 2012 at 1:17 PM

No, he just blamed the House but the Senate is so cool.

JPeterman on November 9, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Apparently he was early. Has he started?

22044 on November 9, 2012 at 1:20 PM

‏@whpresscorps

FLASHBACK: ABC: Obama Falsely Claims He Has a Plan to Cut $4 Trillion from the Deficit http://t.co/rEeZ8wXW

Flora Duh on November 9, 2012 at 1:20 PM

I’ve heard that he won’t be taking any questions. It will be up to the Morning Zoo on 100.5 FM to get these answers.

Mark1971 on November 9, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Why would a dictator take any questions?

the_nile on November 9, 2012 at 1:20 PM

He lost me at “thank yoooooooouuuuuuuuuu, thank yoooooooouuuuuuuu!”

slickwillie2001 on November 9, 2012 at 1:20 PM

I won’t watch…is the legacy media on their knees praising Dear Leader?

d1carter on November 9, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Time to warm up the T-bird.

Tater Salad on November 9, 2012 at 1:20 PM

blah, blah, blah….

albill on November 9, 2012 at 1:20 PM

I say do nothing.

Let the Bush tax cuts expire. Let everyone see what happens when the liberals get what they really want. Whatever the Republicans do, they should absolutely not let the Democrats raise taxes on the top earners without letting everyone else feel the pain immediately.

If they want to raise taxes, let them raise taxes on everyone.

Caiwyn on November 9, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Apparently he was early. Has he started?

22044 on November 9, 2012 at 1:20 PM

He’s done already.

El_Terrible on November 9, 2012 at 1:21 PM

And no matter how much or how little Obama moves the hinge of history, his party will not be able four years hence to blame Bush the younger for economic underperformance.

Don’t be too sure. How long did Democrats blame Hoover for bad economic times? They’re still a little of that today.

If the voters believe Bush still responsible four years hence, why not eight?

bobs1196 on November 9, 2012 at 1:21 PM

“Now if you all will excuse me…

… I have a plan to catch.”

Seven Percent Solution on November 9, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Well, it should be, but for some reason i think even after 8 years of Obama dems will still blame Bush.

clearbluesky on November 9, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Absolutely. And Obama will ask for a third term because it takes more than 8 years to fix the damage caused by Bush.

The Rogue Tomato on November 9, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Was that Chris Christie standing behind him?

Natebo on November 9, 2012 at 1:21 PM

He says we cut 1 trillion in spending. We did? Wow, thanks Barry!

TarheelBen on November 9, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Sure…over 10 years…decrease in the amount of increase.
So did I though…
I was projecting I would spend a trillion dollars myself this year, but that seemed imprudent, so I pared back my spending (so many tough choices) to well under $100k this year, therefore, I cut over 900 billion in personal spending this year alone.
Next year is looking even better. I was budgeted to spending $10 trillion, but dog-gone-it I can do better than that. I think I’ll continue to keep it well under $100k and see how things go. That’s another easy $9 trillion in savings there (plus or minus a few hundred billion).

libertynow on November 9, 2012 at 1:22 PM

On this red/blue state thing. Here’s the way I see it: If more of the conservatives that currently reside in population-heavy blue states moved to the less populated red states (in time for the next census, that is), the resulting population boosts to those states should garner them additional electoral votes while reducing the votes given to the blue states. Think it could work to-to use the preezy’s favorite word-”balance” the electoral field for the future? Okay, not the immediate future and I’m taking a leap that there will be elections after this year, but. . ..

totherightofthem on November 9, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Man, leaders are actually going to the White House!!
He invited them!!
BARRY, YOU’RE THE GREATEST!!

TarheelBen on November 9, 2012 at 1:17 PM

The White House kitchen has already started preparing the thousands of points of toast with little Bammie’s sh!t smeared on them.

slickwillie2001 on November 9, 2012 at 1:22 PM

AHAHAHAHAHAHA. This man, about to lecture all of America on “fiscal sanity.”

Is it too early to drink?

Aizen on November 9, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Speaking as a practicing mormon, I’m giving up on the Sprite and heading straight to the Schweppes Raspberry Ginger Ale.

Alberta_Patriot on November 9, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Cannot Congress stop funding any/all the departments and agencies they deem unnecessary?

Mr. Arrogant on November 9, 2012 at 1:23 PM

10th Amendment!

Educate…Persuade…Define with Clarity…Act on Subsidiarity…

Community Organize around Subsidiarity

LOCAL…LOCAL…LOCAL

Suburbs and Cities….and work in the churches and the schools. Pick the smart battles and takeover local media.

Beat those Marxist A-Holes at their own game.

workingclass artist on November 9, 2012 at 1:23 PM

I will never watch him again, not that I did.

MontanaMmmm on November 9, 2012 at 1:19 PM

I will never watch him for the first time ever.

totherightofthem on November 9, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Was that Chris Christie standing behind him?

Natebo on November 9, 2012 at 1:21 PM

He’s under the podium.

RedNewEnglander on November 9, 2012 at 1:24 PM

He wants growth, eh?
Letting the Bush tax cuts expired will jack up the capital gains tax; the dividends tax, a bunch of other taxes.
Now THERE’S a recipe for growth.
Doubling the capital gains tax has ALWAYS worked. Right??

TarheelBen on November 9, 2012 at 1:24 PM

22044 he was thankfully very short in his lecture. Why he had those supposed “middle-income” people behind him perplexed me. He fully believes he has a mandate!

I’d love to be a fly in Boehner’s office right about now.

He said things are urgent and now he’s bringing in not only the leaders of the party’s to the WH, but bringing in labor, business leaders, etc. We knew this was coming for ages……..but he’s just now going to work on it.

He continues to LEAD FROM BEHIND.

CoffeeLover on November 9, 2012 at 1:24 PM

At least has given Boehner cover to show him the finger

Tater Salad on November 9, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Am I completely wrong or does all the power belong to the Republicans?

If nothing is done, no new legislation passed, the Bush tax rates become the Clinton tax rates, the 0bama FICA tax holiday is gone, and there will be $100 billion in automatic budget cuts. That comes out to around $650 billion. Will be painful? SURE. However, the citizenry need to feel some pain.

Romney lost by less than 2%, that is no reason for everyone in the GOP to pee their pants.

jukin3 on November 9, 2012 at 1:25 PM

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