US budget books Nov 2012 2
In the lame duck session of Congress, with Democrats and Republicans compromise, or maintain their polarized, partisan stances? Reuters

As President Barack Obama prepares to meet with Congress later this week regarding the approaching “fiscal cliff,” he may be looking outside that gathering for support for his position that the wealthy must pay a little more in taxes.

Bloomberg Businessweek is reporting that prior to meeting with Congress Friday, the President will invite labor and business leaders to the White House for a meeting.

Both Obama and Congressional leaders – particularly Republicans – have different ideas about how to lower the national debt and reinvigorate the economy. The approaching fiscal cliff is a result of those differences in Washington, a product of expiring tax cuts and automatic budget cuts set to take effect in January if there is no agreement to do otherwise.

Should 2013 roll around with no new legislation on how to proceed, the nation may plunge into another recession because of the double impact of rising taxes and reduced government spending.

On Nov. 9, three days after winning reelection, a ready-to-work Obama called on both parties to negotiate in earnest. While he said he’s not wed to all his ideas, Obama said there are just some people he will not burden.

“I am not going to ask students and seniors and middle-class families to pay down the entire deficit while people like me, making over $250,000, aren’t asked to pay a dime more in taxes,” Obama said in his first speech since reelection. “I’m not going to do that.”

Refusing to accept “any approach that isn't balanced,” the President said he will not consider a proposal that doesn’t include an increase for those earning more than $250,000 a year.

While Republicans are still opposed to a tax rate increase, House Speaker John Boehner said it is Obama’s time to lead and signaled he is open to talking.

“I am proposing that we avert the fiscal cliff together in a manner that ensures 2013 is finally the year that our government comes to grips with the major problems that are facing us,” he said. “This will bring jobs home, result in a stronger, healthier economy. And a stronger, healthier economy means more Americans working and more revenues, which is what the president is seeking.”

He, too, is hopeful that productive conversations will result in an agreement that can pass Congress.