With a successful bid for reelection behind him, President Obama is using that momentum to insist on saving the Bush-era tax cuts for everyone -- except for the top income earners.
He met with labor and progressive groups at the White House on Tuesday in a closed door session to discuss the deficit and the looming fiscal curb, as The Last Word likes to call it.
MoveOn.org’s Justin Ruben, who was in attendance for the private chat, told msnbc’s Lawrence O’Donnell the message of the meeting was clear: Obama will "stick to his guns" and veto any extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
The Huffington Post also reported the president told attendees he’s "not going to budge" in his negotiations on making the wealthy pay their fair share. "I said in 2010 that I'm going to do this once, and I meant it."
White House press secretary Jay Carney reiterated the president’s stance on Tuesday, confirming the president wants a $1.6 trillion tax hike on the rich (defined as those with incomes above $250,000).
If no bill passes by the end of the year, all income tax rates will revert back to Clinton tax rates. In other words, if House Republicans block legislation, Grover Norquist’s worst nightmare will come true: all rates will go up across the board, no matter what, pledge or no-pledge.
A new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll shows 53% of those surveyed would blame congressional Republicans for going off the curb if a deal cannot be reached.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called on the House lawmakers to take up the Senate-passed bill to stop tax hikes.
"We could avert the fiscal cliff for 98% of American families and 97% of small businesses today,” said Reid. “The House must only consider the Senate-passed bill freezing tax rates for those making less than $250,000 a year.”
The president is scheduled to meet with business leaders on Wednesday and congressional leaders on Friday.