As the U.S. government explores options to avoid the looming fiscal cliff, President Obama has warned that if the much-despised tax hikes was to occur, it would impact the global economy.
"It would be bad for the economy, it would be bad for those families, in fact it would be bad for the world economy," Obama told reporters at the White House as he met with his cabinet, Wednesday, according to Reuters.
While negotiations are on to avoid $600 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts that begin in 2013, analysts feel that if the tax hikes were to take effect, it would push the U.S. economy back into recession. The Republicans are opposed to the President's proposal for maintaining existing tax rates for all but the top two income tax brackets.
Talks about the fiscal cliff gain significance with the Dec.31 deadline as Obama held meetings with labor leaders, small business owners and industry heads to build pressure on the Republicans.
Even at the Nov.28 meeting with 13 business leaders, including Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein and the CEOs of Coca-Cola, Yahoo, Marriott, Caterpillar, Comcast, Deloitte LLP, AT&T, and Home Depot among others, Obama reiterated his demand for higher tax rates on wealthiest taxpayers, Todd Gillman of The Dallas Morning News has reported.
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The business leaders expressed support for a deal that included higher tax rates for wealthy Americans such as themselves.
Though Obama has been calling for a pre-Christmas deal with the Republicans to avert the tax and deficit crunch, budget experts and economists are stating that the fix is likely to arrive as a two-part deal – the first part to extend tax cuts and repeal spending cuts to avert changes scheduled Jan.1 and a second part that presents a framework for overhauling the tax code.
Even legendary investor Warren Buffet avers that he is not sure if the compromise on the fiscal cliff will happen by the end of the year.
Appearing on CNBC's Squawk Box with Carol Loomis, he stated that a compromise may come shortly after the Dec.31 deadline.
Even among the Republicans, consensus seems elusive against tax rate hikes for wealthy as a conservative congressman has backed Obama's slogan to raise rates on the rich, Reuters has reported.
Tim Cole stated the Republicans must approve a deal ensuring that 98 percent of Americans do not suffer a tax increase that endangers economic recovery.
Cole's voice of support comes amid Republicans opposing tax hikes to households earning more than $250,000 a year.
Obama Takes To Social Media To Gauge Public Sentiment
Amidst all the confusion surrounding the lack of consensus over the fiscal cliff, Obama seems to have unleashed a massive social media campaign to gauge the public sentiment on the impending tax hikes and spending cuts.
The president has sought public's help, urging Americans to use the Twitter hashtag #my2k to tweet their support -- a reference to the $2,000-plus additional taxes a typical American family may be burdened with if no deal is reached.
At the time of writing this article, the request has been re-tweeted over 4,000 times and elicited scores of tweets from the citizens and political associations, both supporting and opposing the president's proposal.
RightWingWatch MA @RWwatchMA tweeted: "Since 1944, we've only raised taxes on the rich twice —in 1992 and 1994. The result? 23 million new jobs."
While MoveOn.org @MoveOn tweeted: Nice #my2k speech by @BarckObama today. We support President's call to end Bush tax cuts for top 2% while keeping middle class taxes low."
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley tweeted: "More money for middle class families means a stronger economy and more secure future.#My2K"
This apart, the White House has set up a message board entitled: "Speak Out to Keep Taxes From Going Up on the Middle Class" that has received over 40,000 responses as of Nov.28.