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Obama’s first post-election interview

Speaker of the House John Boehner’s proposal for deficit reduction is “still out of balance,” according to President Barack Obama.   

On Tuesday, Obama sat down for his first post-election interview with Bloomberg News’ Julianna Goldman. Though he said he was willing to compromise and that leaders “have the potential of getting a deal done,” it seems that neither side is willing to budge enough to reach an agreement that would avert the quickly approaching fiscal cliff.

Echoing a popular campaign mantra, the president said that when it comes to the plan proposed by Boehner that would avoid tax increases on the wealthiest Americans, “When you look at the math, it doesn’t work.” Instead, Obama pushed for his plan that involves a tax increase for income after $250,000, which he said will allow for deficit reduction and protection of middle class Americans.

Both sides have been unable to compromise when it comes to proposals of tax hikes and budgetary cuts that would reduce the nation’s deficit going forward. In Tuesday’s interview the president did not give much ground saying, ““If we’re going to raise revenues that are sufficient to balance with the very tough cuts..we’re going to have to see the rates on the top 2 percent go up. We’re not going to be able to get a deal without it.”

With less than a month left until the cliff deadline, Obama reminded viewers that even if the cliff is averted, odds of a cure-all plan being reached before the end of the year is unlikely. “We’re not going to get a comprehensive plan that gets it done in the next two weeks,” he said.

 Adding to the fear that Republicans and Democrats will be unwilling to put aside partisanship to avoid tax hikes and spending cuts that will kick in automatically unless an agreement is reached are reports that the speaker and president did not even acknowledge each other at a White House holiday party on Monday evening. When asked about the seemingly frosty relationship, Obama was dismissive saying, “Speaker Boehner and I speak frequently.”

- Gillian White, Medill News Service


Read Speaker Boehner’s response to President Obama’s interview here.