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WASHINGTON D.C.-President Obama and congressional leaders met again Monday to try and hammer out a deal to raise the debt ceiling and reduce the nation's deficit. There was no breakthrough.
President Obama has dismissed any type of short-term deal that would just cover the rest of the year. Instead he is calling for the largest deal possible, rejecting House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) choice of spending cuts with no increased taxes. Obama wants to target tax loopholes for the wealthy as well as an end to the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Obama has stated that he will push Democrats for Medicare reform and cuts to entitlement programs if Republicans will compromise on those taxes.
President Obama declared, it’s time to “pull off the band-aid,” and “to eat our peas.” He went further to say, “Now is the time to deal with these issues, if not now, when?”
Negotiators attempted to salvage a deal that was proposed Saturday that would have saved $4 trillion over the next decade, but that deal went to pieces over a debate on the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthiest tax classes.
Republicans continue to remain opposed to any tax increases and closures of loop holes, while Democrats are demanding tax increases to lessen the impact of domestic spending cuts, hoping that the wealthiest Americans will shoulder some of the burden in the deal.
President Obama points out that he is not looking at raising any taxes on anyone until at least 2013 or beyond. He claims he has “bent over backward to work with the Republicans” and would not force any revenue hikes in the short term. But, in return, he want to maintain the current progressive tax code assessing wealthier Americans at a higher rate.
Boehner instead insists that any talks should be confined to spending cuts alone and no compromise over the Bush tax cut, and proposes $2.4 trillion in cuts.
President Obama and congressional leaders will meet again on Tuesday. An agreement to raise the debt ceiling must be reached by August 2nd. Failure to do so could lead to skyrocketing interest rates and a plummet of the dollar.