Monday, August 3, 2015

Obama to talk fiscal cliff at K’NEX building in Montco

President Barack Obama speaks about the economy and the deficit in the East Room of the White House. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Barack Obama speaks about the economy and the deficit in the East Room of the White House. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Barack Obama plans to appear Friday at the Hatfield, Montgomery County, company building where K’NEX toys are made as part of a pitch for his strategy in dealing with the fiscal cliff.

The trip will mark Obama's first public event outside the nation's capital since winning re-election.

Obama plans to speak at the Rodon Group manufacturing facility as an example of a business that depends on middle-class consumers during the holiday season. The Rodon Group makes parts for K'NEX Brands, a construction toy company whose products include Tinkertoy, K'NEX Building Sets and Angry Birds Building Sets.

It’s part of the president’s new public roadshow to pressure Republicans to allow tax increases on the wealthy while extending tax cuts for families earning $250,000 or less, which covers 98 percent of Americans.

A White House official said yesterday that Obama’s visit to Rodon to demonstrate how rising tax rates could hurt such business. The increase, however, wouldn't take effect until the start of 2013, after the holidays.

Obama has pushed for extending middle-class tax breaks ever since his election, saying Congress should keep taxes down for the vast majority of Americans even while he and Republicans negotiate over raising taxes for those making more than that amount. He has primarily made his argument from the White House, but now appears poised to go on the road.

Meanwhile, Republicans say any rate hike on any income level would hurt businesses and the economy. The GOP has instead argued for adding revenue by closing tax loopholes and capping some deductions.

Both sides warn the so-called "fiscal cliff" could harm the nation's economic recovery, but an agreement still appears far from assured. The White House and congressional Republicans have differed on whether to raise revenue through higher tax rates or by closing tax loopholes and deductions.

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