President Barack Obama said in his weekly address Saturday that his re-election is proof that Americans want taxes raised on the wealthy combined with spending cuts to reduce the deficit.
"As I said over and over again on the campaign trail, we can’t just cut our way to prosperity. If we’re serious about reducing the deficit, we have to combine spending cuts with revenue – and that means asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes," Obama said.
He added, "I’m open to compromise and new ideas, but I refuse to accept any approach that isn’t balanced. I will not ask students or seniors or middle-class families to pay down the entire deficit while people making over $250,000 a year aren’t asked to pay a dime more in taxes. This was a central question in the election. And on Tuesday, we found out that the majority of Americans agree with my approach – Democrats, independents, and some Republicans."
The president called on Congress to first extend middle-class tax cuts while working on a larger deficit reduction plan.
"It’s a step that would give millions of families and 97 percent of small businesses peace of mind that will lead to new jobs and faster growth," he said. "There’s no reason to wait."
Noting that there will be "differences and disagreements in the months to come," Americans on Tuesday "said loud and clear that you won’t tolerate dysfunction, or politicians who see compromise as a dirty word."
"You want cooperation," Obama said. "You want action. That’s what I plan to deliver in my second term, and I expect to find leaders from both parties willing to join me."
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