Here is a complete transcript of President Obama’s statement on tax rates and resolving the fiscal cliff crisis, delivered from the East Room of the White House, Nov. 9, 2012. Text was updated as remarks unfolded.
OBAMA: Thank you.
Thank you, everybody.
Thank you so much.
Thank you very much, everybody. Everybody please have a seat.
OBAMA: Thank you.
Well, good afternoon everybody.
AUDIENCE: Good afternoon.
OBAMA: Now that those of us on the campaign trail have had a chance to get a little sleep, it’s time to get back to work, and there is plenty of work to do.
As I said on Tuesday night, the American people voted for action not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours.
And in that spirit I’ve invited leaders of both parties to the White House next week so we can start to build consensus around the challenges that we can only solve together. And I also intend to bring in business and labor and civic leaders from all across the country here to Washington to get their ideas and input, as well.
You know, at a time when our economy’s still recovering from the great recession, our top priority has to be jobs and growth. That’s the focus of the plan that I talked about during the campaign.
It’s a plan that rewards small businesses and manufacturers that create jobs here and not overseas. It’s a plan to give people the chance to get the education and training that businesses are looking for right now.
It’s a plan to make sure this country is a global leader in research and technology and clean energy, which will attract new companies and highways jobs to America. It’s a plan to put folks back to work, including our veterans, rebuilding our roads and our bridges and other infrastructure.
And it’s a plan to reduce our deficit in a balanced and responsible way.
OBAMA: Our work is made that much more urgent because at the end of this year we face a series of deadlines that require us to make major decisions about how to pay our deficit down, decisions that will have a huge impact on both the economy and the middle class, both now and in the future.
Last year, I worked with Democrats and Republicans to cut a trillion dollars worth of spending that we just couldn’t afford. I intend to work with both parties to do more, and that includes making reforms that will bring down the cost of health care, so we can strengthen programs like Medicaid and Medicare for the long haul, but, as I’ve said before, we can’t just cut our way to prosperity.
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.
That’s how we did it.
That’s how we did it in the 1990s, when Bill Clinton was president. That’s how we can reduce the deficit while still making the investments we need to build a strong middle class, and a strong economy.