News / USA

Obama Campaigns for Fiscal Plan

U.S. President Barack Obama visits members of middle class families to discuss his Administration's push to cut taxes for 98% of Americans while visiting in Fairfax County, Virginia, December 6, 2012.
U.S. President Barack Obama visits members of middle class families to discuss his Administration's push to cut taxes for 98% of Americans while visiting in Fairfax County, Virginia, December 6, 2012.
Kent Klein
President Barack Obama visited a family’s home near Washington on Thursday as part of his campaign to persuade Congress to pass his economic plan. 
 
Obama paid a visit to Tiffany and Richard Santana, who responded to his call asking Americans to use social media to express support for his fiscal plan.
 
Americans will face substantial tax increases and government budget cuts on January 1, if Congress does not pass and the president does not sign legislation to reduce the nation’s debt.
 

What is the U.S. Fiscal Cliff?

  • An agreement intended to force politicians to compromise and make deals.
  • Without a deal by January 1, 2013, sharp spending cuts would hit military and social programs.
  • Tax hikes also would go into effect.
  • The combination would reduce economic activity, and could boost unemployment and push the nation back into recession.
Obama said failure to enact fiscal legislation would cost a typical American family, such as the Santanas, $2,000 a year in higher taxes.
 
“An increase of $2,000 or so for her and her husband, in this household, would actually mean $4,000 that was lost.  And a couple of thousand dollars means a couple months rent," he said. 
 
The president said higher taxes for families across the country would cause a ripple effect throughout the U.S. economy.
 
“That translates into $200 billion of less consumer spending next year.  And that is bad for businesses, large and small.  It is bad for our economy.  It means less folks are being hired.  And we could be back in a downward spiral instead of the kind of virtuous cycle that we want to see," he said. 

Watch a related report by VOA's Greg Flakus
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) pauses during a news conference on the fiscal cliff after a closed GOP meeting at Capitol Hill, December 5, 2012.U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) pauses during a news conference on the fiscal cliff after a closed GOP meeting at Capitol Hill, December 5, 2012.
x
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) pauses during a news conference on the fiscal cliff after a closed GOP meeting at Capitol Hill, December 5, 2012.
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) pauses during a news conference on the fiscal cliff after a closed GOP meeting at Capitol Hill, December 5, 2012.
On Wednesday, the president and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Republican John Boehner, discussed the issue in a telephone call.
 
Democrats and Republicans agree that more revenue must be raised to help reduce the national debt, which stands at more than $16 trillion.  But Republicans oppose the president’s proposal to raise tax rates on the wealthiest Americans to close the gap.
 
Obama has been making his case to the public, hoping that Americans will pressure Republicans in Congress to accept the president's plan.
 
“I am encouraged to see that there has been some discussion on the part of Republicans, acknowledging the need for additional revenue.  As I have indicated, the only way to get the kind of revenue for a balanced deficit reduction plan is to make sure that we are also modestly increasing rates for people who can afford it," he said. 
 
The president recently has discussed the issue with state governors, corporate executives and the general public.  But he has held only one meeting with top lawmakers on the fiscal situation, last month. 

You May Like

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

Euro falls after European Central Bank announces a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program More

Saudi King’s Death Clears Succession Route

Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef is Saudi Arabia's New Crown Prince-in-waiting More

Cloud Hangs Over US Counterterrorism Efforts in Yemen

Sources say resignations of Yemen's president, government has left US anti-terror operations 'paralyzed,' yet an American military 'footprint' remains More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid