POLITICS

Obama on Al Sharpton: It’s hard for Republicans to see the obvious answer

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Politics Digest,Michal Conger

President Obama gave a radio interview with Al Sharpton today, and blamed Republicans for the frightening post-sequestration world he described.

“We could see mental health services affected, head start slots taken away… it’s going to have an effect on cutting back on things like meat inspections, or folks at our airpoirts, which means that airport lines may be longer,” Obama said. “Whether or not we can move Republicans to do the right thing is something we’re still trying to gauge.”

The Republican party is united by its stubborn opposition to raising taxes on the wealthy, the president told Sharpton.

“My sense is that their basic view is nothing is important enough to raise taxes on wealthy individuals or corporations,” he said. “And they would prefer to see these kinds of cuts that could slow down our recovery over closing tax loopholes, and that’s the thing that binds their party together at this point.”

Asked why Republicans aren’t willing to budge in the face of such harmful cuts, Obama said Republicans have dug in so hard on taxes that they’re missing the obvious answer.

“When you look at the polling, 75 percent of the American people agree with me that the way to reduce the deficit sensibly is is through a combination of spending cuts and tax revenue, and if we spread that out over several years, it wouldn’t have a bad impact on our economy — and, in fact, would strengthen our economy by putting us on a more stable financial footing,” he said. “Unfortunately, I think Republicans right now have been so dug in on this notion of never raising taxes that it becomes difficult for them to see an obvious answer right in front of them.”

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