15° F

Wisconsin delegation weighs in on fiscal cliff

Published On: Nov 09 2012 07:37:00 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 10 2012 10:06:23 AM CST


President Barack Obama is inviting members of Congress to the White House to discuss avoiding automatic cuts and tax hikes in the new year.

But some of Wisconsin's congressional delegation says it won't be easy to get an agreement to avoid a fiscal cliff.

The president made his first public comments following his re-election Tuesday, addressing the nation's looming fiscal issues and how to handle them along with Congress.

"I want to be clear: I'm not wedded to every detail of my plan," Obama said. "I'm open to compromise. I'm open to new ideas. I'm committed to solving our fiscal challenges, but I refuse to accept any approach that isn't balanced. I'm not going to ask students and seniors and middle class families to pay down the entire deficit while people like me making over $250,000 aren't asked to pay a dime more in taxes. I'm not going to do that," he said. 

But Republicans seem equally intent on opposing any tax increases, saying it could hurt small business owners. 

Senator Ron Johnson told WISC-TV today, that the president's hard line doesn't sound like compromise to him.

"What we're faced with is a president that seems not willing to compromise at all," said Johnson. "Just to say 'my way or the highway, let's punish success, lets increase taxes on small to medium size businesses,' I'm not going to support that because it will harm economic growth."

Johnson says that none of the tax brackets should be raised and that would provide certainty that would "allow the economy to take off."

While the Senate has passed the measure that would increase taxes on the highest income earners already, the Republican-controlled House has refused thus far.

Congress will return next week to discuss the matter and the president says he's invited leaders of both parties to the White House for negotiations.

If an agreement isn't reached, the Bush tax cuts on all wage earners would expire as well as an additional payroll tax cut enacted by the Obama administration.

An additional $800 billion in spending cuts could be triggered, including $55 billion in defense cuts and even some unemployment benefits would expire.

Someone making a salary of $50,000 could expect to pay about $2,000 more a year in taxes.

  • Mil debate media gallery main

    Win McNamee/Getty Images

    Clinton, Sanders face off in Milwaukee debate

    Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton participate in the PBS NewsHour Democratic presidential candidate debate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Milwaukee. The debate is the final debate before the Nevada caucuses scheduled for Feb. 20.

  • Wildlife refuge


    Oregon armed protesters: What to know

    A 41-day occupation at a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon ended Thursday when the four remaining protesters surrendered to authorities. Here is what to you need to know about the group.

  • Titanic II

    Blue Star Line

    Titanic II: A look inside

    The new Titanic II will be practically identical to the original luxury liner, which famously sank in April 1912 after striking an iceberg on its maiden voyage. Here's a look inside the ocean liner, which is slated to sail in 2018.

  • Audrey


    Look Who's 3

    Check out who's turning 3, and send in your photo.

  • Valentine's Day card

    Valentine's Day

    Gift ideas, getting in the mood, popping the question, recipes and ideas for kids, all in our special section dedicated to Valentine's Day.

  • heart--stethoscope--doctor--medical---21654271

    Healthy Heart

    Tips to stay heart healthy, reducing your risk of heart disease, advice and the latest research on heart health.