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Singing to be protected and we -- -- -- President Obama or live in east room of the White House.
-- let me just make a few remarks at the top and then -- opened up.
First -- all -- reiterate what I said on Friday.
Right now our economy is still recovering from.
A very deep and damaging crisis.
So our top priority has to be jobs and growth.
We've got to build on the progress that we've made.
Because this nation succeeds when we got a growing thriving middle class.
And that's the idea of the core of the plan that I talked about on the campaign trail last year.
And small businesses -- create jobs here not overseas.
Providing more Americans the chance to -- the skills the businesses are looking for right now.
Keeping this country the forefront of research technology and clean energy.
Putting people back to work rebuilding our roads our bridges and our schools.
And reducing our deficit in the balanced and responsible way.
Now on this last -- We faced a very clear deadline that requires us to make some big decisions on jobs taxes.
And deficits by the end of the year.
Both parties voted to set this deadline.
And I believe the both parties can work together.
To make these decisions and a balanced and responsible way yesterday had a chance to meet with the labor and civic leaders for their input.
Today I'm meeting with CEOs of some of America's largest companies.
And I'll meet with the leaders of both parties of congress before the week is up.
Because there's only one way to solve these challenges and that is to do it together.
As I've said before I'm open to compromise and I'm open to new ideas.
And I've been encouraged over the past week -- your Republican after Republican agree.
On the need for no no more revenue from the wealthiest Americans as part of our arithmetic if we're going to be serious about reducing the deficit.
Because when it comes to taxes there are two -- -- Israel.
Option one if congress fails to act by the end of this year everybody's taxes will automatically go up.
Including the 98% of Americans who make less than two -- 50000 dollars a year.
And the 97% of small businesses who earn less than 250000 dollars a year.
That doesn't make sense.
Our economy can't afford that right now.
Certainly no middle class family can afford that right now and nobody in either party says that they wanted to happen.
The other option is to pass a -- right now that would prevent any tax -- whatsoever on the first 250000.
Of everybody's and come.
And by the way that means every American including the wealthiest Americans get a tax cut.
It means that 90% of all Americans -- 97% of all small businesses.
Won't see their taxes go up a single but.
The senate has already passed a law like this.
Democrats in the house are ready to pass a -- like this.
And I hope Republicans in the house come on board to.
We should not hold the middle class hostage while we debate tax cuts for the wealthy.
We should at least do what we agree on and that's to keep middle class taxes low.
And I'll bring everyone in to sign it right away so we can give folks some certainty for the -- Macy's.
I won't pretend that figuring out everything else will be easy but I'm confident we can do -- I know we have to.
I don't but that's what the American people want us to do.
That was the very clear message from the election last week and that was the message of a letter that I received.
Over the weekend.
Came from a man in Tennessee who began by writing that he didn't vote for.
Which is okay.
What he said was even though you didn't give me his vote he's giving me his support to move this country for.
And he said the same to his Republican representatives in Washington.
He said that -- back each of us.
Regardless of party as long as we work together to make life better for all of us.
And he made it clear that if we don't make enough progress will be back in touch.
So my hope.
He wrote is that we can make progress in light of personal and party principles.
Special interest groups and years of business as usual.
We've got to work together and put our differences aside.
I couldn't say it better myself that's precisely what I intend to do and -- that -- -- open up for your questions and --
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