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Published On: Mon, Dec 31st, 2012

Utah Senator Mike Lee says President Obama should stop playing ‘political games’ with fiscal cliff talks

Following President Obama’s Sunday “Meet the Press” interview Senator Mike Lee has called out the President for playing “political games” and that “we need to be negotiating in good faith.”

Sen. Barack Obama announces his candidacy for President of the United States at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill. on Feb. 10, 2007. (photo by Pete Souza)

Sen. Barack Obama announces his candidacy for President of the United States at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill. on Feb. 10, 2007.
(photo by Pete Souza)

The Deseret News reports Monday morning that Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) says he was surprised that President Barack Obama chose to be critical of the GOP adding that “in circumstances like this one where it’s down to the wire and we need to be negotiating in good faith.”

Lee said that “when someone tries to play political games like that, everyone suffers. Democrats and Republicans are hurt by that sort of thing.”

The President said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” he’s negotiated in good faith to stop the automatic tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect Jan.1 without congressional action.

Republicans, the Democratic president said, “say 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.”

Lee said that kind of talk isn’t helpful.

“I suspect the president regrets saying that,” he said. “It’s certainly not a good negotiating tactic when you’re in the final hours of what could become a significant crisis if you don’t avert it.”

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, offered his own criticism of Obama.

“The president needs to stop trying to blame and start leading,” Chaffetz said.

“The Senate needs to do its job,” Chaffetz said, noting the House passed a plan in August to keep the current tax rates in place.

Lee said he’d take a look at the proposal if it advances, but wasn’t enthusiastic.

“I don’t support tax increases,” the senator said. “If you raise taxes even if it’s only raising taxes on the top 2 percent, you’re going to kill an estimated 700,000 jobs” referring to a study by Ernst and Young.

According to the Washington Post, that study was prepared last year by the firm for several business groups that oppose the tax increase and stated “roughly two-thirds to three-quarters of the long-run effect is reached within a decade.”

“It’s hard working Americans who are living paycheck by paycheck and those who are least able to absorb the losses,” he said. “That’s why were’ concerned about that,” Lee added.

Lee said he felt no obligation to voters who reelected Obama on a campaign platform that called for a tax hike on the wealthy.

“It doesn’t make it a good idea,” Lee said of the apparent majority support for higher taxes on the rich. “It doesn’t make it any less hurtful to those who are going to lose their jobs if taxes go up. That’s not a reason to raise taxes.”

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Latest Barack Obama News | Amerigonian says:

    […] Utah Senator Mike Lee says President Obama should stop playing 'political … Following President Obama's Sunday “Meet the Press” interview Senator Mike Lee has called out the President for playing “political games” and that “we need to be negotiating in good faith.” Sen. Barack Obama announces his candidacy for President of the … Read more on The Global Dispatch […]

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