Obama hosts small-business owners on fiscal cliff
President Obama leaves the 7th East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Nov. 20, 2012. / AFP/Getty Images
President Obama plans to meet with small-business owners and middle-class Americans Tuesday and Wednesday to build support for his plan to avert the automatic budget cuts and tax hikes known as the fiscal cliff, according to a White House official.
With five weeks remaining for Mr. Obama and congressional Republicans to make a deal before the drastic changes go into effect on New Year's Day, the president also plans to go on the road Friday and make his case at the Pennsylvania manufacturing facility for Tinkertoys and other toys, the official said.
Mr. Obama wants to keep in place the Bush-era tax cuts for the first $250,000 American families earn, but not for higher incomes. Democrats instead want to raise tax rates for higher wage-earners. That's a major sticking point with Republicans, who have shown signs of approval toward reducing some deductions and loopholes to generate revenue, but not for raising rates.
The 15 small-business owners meeting with the president Tuesday include the CEO of a Louisiana construction company, the founder of a Michigan trucking company, and the co-founder of a Wisconsin brewing company.
On Wednesday, Mr. Obama plans to meet with middle-class Americans who responded to a White House call for stories about how a tax increase would affect them, the White House official said. The president also plans to meet with more business leaders, who will be announced later.
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