Obama: I've got my pen ready to raise those taxes

In case you missed it this afternoon (or, if you just didn’t want to watch it, in which case I sympathize), President Obama held his first post-election, fiscal-cliff, no-questions-please presser this afternoon, during which he iterated pretty much everything you’d expect.

National Journal sums it up:

  • In his first statement since winning reelection, Obama called on Congress to let the Bush tax cuts expire for individuals earning over $200,000 per year and families earning over $250,000. “Let’s extend the middle-class tax cuts right now. Let’s do that right now,” Obama added.
  • The president said while he is “open to compromise,” he will not accept a Republican plan that only contains spending cuts. “I refuse to accept any approach that isn’t balanced,” he told an East Room audience.
  • “On Tuesday night, we found out that the majority of Americans agree with my approach,” Obama said. “Our job now is to get a majority in Congress to reflect the view of the American people.”

Earlier on Friday, Speaker of the House John Boehner held his own press conference, implying that he was ruling out any tax hikes as part of a deal, via the NYT:

“It’s clear that there are a lot of special interest loopholes in the tax code, both corporate and personal,” he said. “It’s also clear that there are all kinds of deductions, some of which make sense, others don’t. And by lowering rates and cleaning up the tax code, we know we’re going to get more economic growth.” …

But Mr. Boehner said he has a mandate as well.

“There’s a Republican majority here in the House,” he said. “The American people re-elected a Republican majority, and I’m proud of the fact that our team in a very difficult year was able to maintain our majority.”

And I just know you’re curious about what House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi thought about the whole thing, so here you go:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., responded to President Obama with a statement that the president “is exactly right —  the American people voted on Tuesday for certainty for our economy and middle class families.”

“President Obama has his signing pen ready, and I am certain that, given the opportunity, Democrats in the House will vote to send the middle income tax cut to the President next week,” said Pelosi.

So, everybody’s geared up for the fight, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid affirmed his readiness to raise the debt ceiling to almost $19 trillion earlier this week — which is really awesome, since we’re set to hit around $20 trillion in debt by the end of Obama’s second term. I’m sure we can just keep delaying dealing with our debt, and delaying it, and delaying it, and delaying it…

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