I don't think David Gregory can make it through an interview without pushing the Villagers' favorite theme during these so-called "fiscal cliff" negotiations, which is that Democrats had better be willing to inflict some pain on the elderly and the working class, or they're just not being "serious." He was at it again this Sunday when he asked President Obama about whether he was going to just have to "talk tough" to seniors about Social Security and Medicare.
Of course no such tough talk or pain is ever required of the rich or of our bloated military industrial complex. Gregory also did his best to try to place the blame for Republican obstruction during these negotiations on President Obama's back, asking him "What is it about you, Mr. President, that you think is so hard to say yes to?" About him... really David Gregory? We've got one party that's lost its mind and cares about obstruction above all else and is willing to take us down in flames to get what they want and another party that's willing to bend over backwards to try to negotiate with them, and you want to know why the side that's too willing to compromise hasn't done enough to make the Teahadist happy? Spare me.
President Obama said Sunday that the "pressure is on Congress" to reach a compromise and resolve the so-called “fiscal cliff,” sharply criticizing GOP leaders for the unresolved talks.
In an exclusive interview with NBC's “Meet the Press” on Sunday, his first appearance since the healthcare debate in 2009, Obama seemed intent on putting the blame solely on Congressional Republicans, if lawmakers fail to reach the pivotal year-end deadline.
"I offered not only a trillion dollars in -- over a trillion dollars in spending cuts over the next 10 years, but these changes would result in even more savings in the next 10 years, and would solve our deficit problem for a decade," Obama said, in the interview . “They say that their biggest priority is making sure that we deal with the deficit in a serious way, but the way they're behaving is that their only priority is making sure that tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are protected. That seems to be their only overriding, unifying theme.”
Obama said GOP negotiators have "had trouble saying ‘yes’ to a number of repeated offers."
"If we're serious about deficit reduction we should make sure that the wealthier are paying a little bit more and combine that with spending cuts to reduce our deficit and put our economy on a long-term trajectory of growth," Obama said, sitting in the White House's Blue Room in the interview which was taped on Saturday. [...]
But in the interview, time and again, Obama put the blame on Republicans for the inaction on the fiscal crisis.
"So far, at least, Congress has not been able to get this stuff done," Obama said. "Not because Democrats in Congress don't want to go ahead and cooperate, but because I think it's been very hard for Speaker Boehner [R-Ohio] and Republican Leader McConnell to accept the fact that taxes on the wealthiest Americans should go up a little bit, as part of an overall deficit reduction package."
Obama would not accept some of the responsibility for the stalemate, saying he has a track record of cutting spending by over a trillion dollars in 2011.
"I campaigned on the promise of being willing to reduce the deficit in a serious way, in a balanced approach of spending cuts and tax increases on the wealthy while keeping middle class taxes low," he said. "I put forward a very specific proposal to do that. I negotiated with Speaker Boehner in good faith and moved more than halfway in order to achieve a grand bargain. I offered over a trillion dollars in additional spending cuts so that we would have $2 of spending cuts for every $1 of increased revenue.
“I think anybody objectively who's looked at this would say that we have put forward not only a sensible deal but one that has the support of the majority of the American people, including close to half of Republicans," said Obama.
There's nothing "balanced" about balancing the budget on the backs of those that can least afford it when we've got record income disparity in the United States right now. Social Security does not contribute to our deficit and if we want to solve our deficit problems, we need to be getting people back to work and near full employment again.