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President Obama Visits Falls Church Family

In midst of talks about fiscal cliff, president asks one family what a $2,000 increase in taxes would mean for them.

NORTHERN VIRGINIA -- As the political negotiations over the "fiscal cliff" heat up in Congress, President Barack Obama visited with a local family to talk about what an increase in taxes would mean for them.

The president paid a visit Thursday to Falls Church, VA resident Tiffany Santana, a high school teacher who lives with her husband, an employee of a local Toyota dealership, 7-year-old son and her parents. Her mother works as a day care provider and her father works for the U.S. Postal Service. 

In a video released by the White House (which you can watch in the media box at right), Santana said, "Real, everyday people know what $2,000 means to their lives, to their ability to feed their children, or their ability to send their children to school. These things certainly don't require an economist's view. So, $2,000 to me would be paying a month's rent. It's something very tangible." 

That amount is what the White House says is what the average taxpayer would pay if the country went over the fiscal cliff—a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts that will go into effect if Congress and the president don't come to a spending agreement by the end of December. 

The president and many Congressional Democrats are calling for increased taxes on the wealthiest Americans, in addition to closing tax loopholes, limiting deductions and limiting certain discretionary and entitlement spending. Congressional Republicans are calling for an extension of tax cuts already in place; they also want to close loopholes, limit deductions, and cut discretionary and entitlement spending more than Democrats want. Negotiations are continuing.

Following Obama's visit to Santana's home, he made public remarks about what Tiffany, her husband and parents said, and how the looming tax hikes and spending cuts would affect them and the economy:

"For them to be burdened unnecessarily because Democrats and Republicans aren’t coming together to solve this problem gives you a sense of the costs involved in very personal terms," Obama said. "Obviously, it would also have an impact on our economy, because if this family has a couple of thousand dollars less to spend, that translates into $200 billion of less consumer spending next year. And that’s bad for businesses large and small. It’s bad for our economy. It means less folks are being hired, and we can be back in a downward spiral instead of the kind of virtuous cycle that we want to see."

Last week, the president called on the public to tell Congress what a $2,000 tax hike would mean for them.

According to a White House blog post, "Many say that paying $2,000 more in taxes would force families to make some tough choices about their household budgets. For some, it might mean deciding whether to buy groceries or fill a prescription. For others, it would be the difference in making rent or paying tuition."

Read the complete transcript of President Obama's remarks from after his visit to Falls Church here.

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Ruth December 08, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Tell me what $2000 a yr means to me! I am the sole bread winner for a family of four. I bring home net $1400/mo after paying my health ins, fed/state taxes, SS, etc. My mortgage is $1077. My husband can't work because of a physical disability and he is repeatedly denied SS disability monies! He takes an average of 12 different prescriptions on a daily basis. Between purchasing his prescriptions, paying for heat and electric, home owner's and auto insurances, there is barely enough leftover to feed my family and forget about clothesand shoes - that doesn't happen! Did I mention we were denied food stamps too! So,,,,,,,,,$2000 a year means the world to ME!!!
Dayglo December 18, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Hell no. They should not pay to cover debt for the huge tax breaks the rich got. Maybe their taxes should go up a little, but not that much.
Dayglo December 18, 2012 at 02:12 PM
He IS doing his job. His job is to get something passed in Congress, and this is part fo that. Get over it.
Dayglo December 18, 2012 at 02:12 PM
If it's not that much to you, send your $2,000 to me then, Anthony.
Dayglo December 18, 2012 at 02:13 PM
christel, if you're saying that $250K isn't wealthy, then you're completely out of touch with reality.

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