by Zachary A. Goldfarb and Scott Wilson, Washington Post
President Obama called on Congress Friday to immediately freeze tax rates for most Americans and said he was inviting top lawmakers to the White House next week to discuss how to avoid the year-end fiscal cliff and invigorate a still weak economy.
In his first public remarks since returning to Washington after his reelection Tuesday, Obama expressed a desire to work with Republicans solve the nation’s economic problems. But he claimed a mandate on tax policy, saying the election validated his view that wealthiest must pay more in taxes.
“This was a central question during the election. It was debated over and over again. On Tuesday night the majority of Americans agreed with my approach,” Obama said against a backdrop of ordinary Americans standing behind him in the East Room of the White House.
“I’m open to compromise. I’m open to new ideas. I’m committed to solving our fiscal challenges,” Obama said. But he held the line on raising taxes on the wealthy.
“We can’t just cut our way to prosperity,” Obama said. “If we’re serious about reducing the deficit, we have to combine spending cuts with revenue, and that means asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes.” [MORE including video]
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