orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

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November 27, 2012

Obama to appeal to public on fiscal cliff

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has pushed for raising additional revenue through the reducing of tax loopholes instead of raising tax rates on wealthy Americans and Republicans have said Democrats need to come up with cuts in entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.

The White House has countered that the president will not sign legislation that extends current tax rates for the top 2 percent of income earners, or those households with incomes over $250,000. White House officials have expressed a willingness to discuss changes to Medicare and Medicaid but oppose addressing Social Security as part of the fiscal cliff discussions.

Obama has signaled his intention to rally the public to pressure Congress to support his agenda, an approach that helped him win passage of a payroll tax cut extension and prevented interest rates on millions of federal student loans from doubling last summer.

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said in an email to supporters after the election that the president's volunteer base was crucial to his re-election but said they had "more progress to make, and there's only one way to do it: together."

Following the election, Obama aides asked supporters to record YouTube videos discussing the need to have the wealthiest Americans pay more in taxes. Some of the people who shared their stories on YouTube planned to join Obama at the White House on Wednesday.

The lame-duck session has created a new lobbying campaign on Capitol Hill, with business and labor groups vying for an advantage in debate over taxes and spending.

Business leaders have created a group called The Campaign to Fix the Debt, which has promoted a long-term plan to fix the nation's debt and deficits. Unions and liberal groups are trying to mobilize Obama's supporters through a website called theaction.org, which aims to end the Bush tax cuts "for the richest two percent." The website encourages supporters to use social media to promote Obama's agenda.

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