Obama resolute in showdown with GOP over 'fiscal cliff' (LA Times)
Obama resolute in showdown with GOP over 'fiscal cliff'
The White House holds firm as Republicans are forced into the awkward position of threatening a tax increase for all to preserve lower taxes for the wealthy.
By Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey, Washington Bureau
December 5, 2012, 5:24 p.m.
WASHINGTON — President Obama brushed off the latest Republican gambit to gain leverage in averting the so-called fiscal cliff, bluntly telling business chief executives in a speech Wednesday, "I'm not going to play that game."
That flash of swagger reflects growing White House confidence about its position in the year-end showdown over scheduled spending cuts and tax increases. With less than a month to act and the wind of an electoral victory at their back, White House officials think they are boxing in Republicans.
The White House credits its strategy crafted from painful lessons of past go-rounds with the Republican-led House. Rather than engaging intensely with the GOP leadership in high-profile meetings, Obama has sought to isolate Republicans and pump up the pressure from all sides. He has picked a red line and is sticking to it. And now he's waiting.
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner underscored that position Wednesday in an interview on CNBC. The administration is "absolutely" ready to go over the "fiscal cliff" if Republicans refuse to raise tax rates on the wealthy, he said.
"There's no prospect in an agreement that doesn't involve those rates going up on the top 2% of the wealthiest Americans," he said.