Following the Congressional Budget Office’s warning that the U.S. “will probably” head back into a recession if income taxes increase as scheduled in 2013, ABC News’ Jake Tapper asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Thursday why President Obama has not personally addressed the CBO’s prediction.
“I put out a statement which is the White House’s view and the president’s view,” Carney responded. “The president talks every day that he’s out there, as he was yesterday, about what we need to do to help build our economy, help it to continue to grow, help it to continue to create jobs.”
“Yesterday and the day before, he was focusing on the need to continue investments in education. Because he firmly believes that education is a matter of our economy, that it is an economic issue.”
Tapper pointed out that Obama has recently talked about his fundraiser with Michael Jordan and the controversy surrounding Todd Akin, but not the CBO’s report about another possible recession.
“He’s not an innocent bystander here. He’s the pesident of the United States,” Tapper said.
“I’m not saying he is,” Carney replied.
“Here’s the question: Do you think the president is showing as much economic leadership on this issue as he could be?” Tapper asked.
“Yes,” Carney replied. “And I think that what I talked about in answer to an earlier question is that — look — we recognize that there is an enormous debate, a big conflict between the president and the Republican leadership in particular, over whether or not we need to extend, and in some plans give even greater tax cuts, to the top two percent of American earners.”
Ed Henry of Fox News followed up by asking why President Obama has not held any recent meetings with congressional leaders about scheduled tax increases and the automatic spending cuts set for next year to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff.”
“Ed I think you know that congressional leaders — Republican leaders — have been very clear that they will hold hostage tax cuts for 98 percent of the American people to their insistence that millionaires and billionaires get tax cuts too,” Carney said.