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President Obama indicates flexiblity on cliff negotiation issues. [View All]

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-12 06:07 AM
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President Obama indicates flexiblity on cliff negotiation issues.
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As for another sticking point in the negotiations, entitlement programs, the president also indicated an openness to make concessions to programs like Medicare. Based on the negotiators opening arguments, both sides are far apart. Boehner's proposal calls for $900 billion in mandatory spending cuts, much of it coming from Medicare, compared to $600 billion the president proposed.

"I'm happy to be flexible," Mr. Obama said, adding that he says he's not going to get "100 percent" of what he wants. "I am willing to look at anything that strengthens" Medicare, he said. When asked whether he would support raising the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67, the president demurred but didn't outright reject the idea.

The president also seemed to indicate he is willing to cut slightly more from discretionary spending, which includes education, disaster relief, national parks and other government programs.

"There's probably more cuts that we can squeeze out," he said, but he continued to point to the $1 trillion worth of cuts Congress passed last year without any increases in revenue, and he said he's not going to cut programs that hurt the middle class, seniors and college students.

In what seems like an effort to repair his strained relationship with some in the business community, Mr. Obama also said he'd like to give business leaders a more prominent role in his administration, but he blamed the Senate confirmation process that causes private-sector executives to "shy away" from government service. /

The President also said that taxes had to go up on those making over $250K a year, though not necessarily to Clinton Administration levels. And not necessarily permanently.

Isn't it odd how the President is willing to end run around Congressional negotations on some things, but is hands off on others?
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