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McConnell: Obama unwilling to compromise

Dec. 08, 2012 @ 10:59 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Friday suggested President Barack Obama seems willing to take the country over the “fiscal cliff,” arguing that the president wants everything his way in talks to avoid automatic tax increases and spending cuts from taking effect next month.

McConnell described Obama’s negotiating tactic with Republican congressional leaders as: “Give me everything I want.” The Kentucky Republican sounded downbeat about prospects for averting the fiscal cliff that some economists warn could plunge the country back into recession.

“I’d love to tell you that privately it’s a lot better; you know that’s just public posturing,” McConnell said at the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s convention. “Privately, it isn’t any better. It leads me to believe that the president would like to drive us right off the cliff. How I think that benefits him is beyond me. ... Does anybody really believe that’s good for the economy? I think what his problem is, he’s having a hard time turning off the campaign.”

Obama has insisted that any deal must include an increase in rates for high earners. Republican leaders say they will agree to measures that would bring in more revenue, but they say it should be done by closing loopholes or reducing tax breaks rather than raising tax rates for the wealthy. The president contends this wouldn’t adequately rein in budget deficits.

“He is bound and determined to get his way, and the way the law is constructed, it’s sort of stacked in his favor,” McConnell said.

That’s because Bush-era tax cuts for everyone are set to expire on Jan. 1, with automatic, across-the-board spending cuts set to kick in the next day, he said.