Fiscal Cliff Talks Fizzle: Obama Urges Public To Pressure Congress, Show Support (VIDEOS)

President Obama at podium during press conference.

President Obama makes his case for middle class tax cuts during his press conference on Wednesday, November 28th. Image from a screen shot from a CBS News broadcast.

President Barack Obama visited a toy factory in Hatfield, PA today in his latest effort to sell his economic policies directly to American voters. Faced with a hostile congress that refuses to raise taxes on the rich to avert the swiftly approaching “fiscal cliff,” the President is urging the American people to pressure their representatives in congress.

In his Wednesday, November 20th press conference, Obama said:

“It’s too important for Washington to screw this up. Now’s the time to work on what we all agreed to, which is to keep middle class taxes low. That’s what our economy needs, that’s what the American people deserve, and if we get this part right, then a lot of the other issues surrounding deficit reduction — in a fair and balanced and responsible way — are going to be a lot easier.”

You can watch Obama’s talk, along with reporting from CBS News, in the video below:

The Washington Post’s Zachary A. Goldfarb reports that Obama told workers at the Rodon Group’s manufacturing plant (which makes Tinker Toys, K’NEX, Angry Birds, and other toys and games) that:

“It’s not acceptable to me, and I don’t think it’s acceptable to you, for just a handful of Republicans in Congress to hold middle-class tax cuts hostage simply because they don’t want tax rates on upper-income folks to go up,”

House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Douchebag) responded that Obama has created a “stalemate” for the fiscal cliff negotiations, and — according to Goldfarb — added, “Let’s not kid ourselves. Right now, we’re almost nowhere.”

Ostrich with head in the sand singing, "LaLaLa! I can't HEAR you!"

For those of us who’ve been (quite understandably) burying our heads in the sand while chanting “LaLaLaLaLa! I can’t HEAR you,” the “fiscal cliff” is a series of controversial and automatically-triggered tax and spending cuts that will occur if Democrats and Republican extremists fail to work out a budget agreement.

The president’s economic agenda is reflected in the proposal he presented to Congress this Thursday, via his Treasury Secretary (and chief negotiator) Tim Geithner. Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane from The Washington Post report that Obama’s plan “calls for $1.6 trillion in new taxes, $50 billion in fresh spending on the economy and an effective end to congressional control over the size of the national debt.”

Boehner and Obama looking pissed off.

Fear and Loathing in DC … the saga continues.

In addition to Wednesday’s press conference and this week’s outreach efforts have also included:

  • #My2K Twitter Hash Tag Campaign: Obama’s social media mavens are working overtime encouraging ordinary Americans to share what $2,000 in tax cuts means for them and their families’ budgets. To chime in, see what folks are saying, and to bury trolls from the American Heritage Foundation, click here. Don’t forget to add the #My2K hash tag when you share! According to the White House.Gov’s website, over 254,000 citizens have shared so far.
  • Urgent Emails: Have you checked your overflowing inbox lately? If you thought the barrage of emails from the Obamas, Bidens, and friends would stop once the 2012 election campaign was over, you would be terribly, terribly wrong.
  • Live Q&A “White House Office Hours” Session: Yesterday, the White House hosted a live chat on Twitter, with Brian Deese, deputy director of the National Economic Council on hand to answer questions about Obama’s economic agenda. If you missed it, you can read the transcript here, via Storify. For updates on the next “Office Hours” live chats, subscribe @WhiteHouse Twitter feed, or view their Twitter Livestream by clicking here.
  • Vice President Joe Biden’s Surprise Costco Visit: The White House’s blog, vice president deployed a massive charm offensive today, when he visited a Washington, DC Costco to warmly embrace, glad-hand, and chat with shoppers. According to Biden, if Congress doesn’t renew the middle class tax cuts, “$200 less will be spent this year.” He also describes three people who said, “we’re in the red nine months a year, and we count on three months to put us in the black,” and also concluded, “I think it’s important that congress act now.”

You can see the video of Biden’s appearance here:

Elisabeth Parker is a writer, Web designer, mom, political junkie, and dilettante. Come visit her at ElisabethParker.Com, friend her on facebook, or follow her on Twitter.