Twenty-three days since their last face-to-face meeting, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner sat down Sunday to discuss the fiscal cliff. The talk is a significant development because in 22 days the nation is set to face severe tax hikes and spending cuts unless these two men can reach a compromise. Also, Congress is also scheduled to break for the holidays later this week. After yesterday's White House meeting a spokesman for the president said – quote – "the lines of communication remain open." This morning Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) and Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) join “Starting Point” to weigh in on fiscal cliff negotiations.
Bono Mack says, “Stay tuned. I think day after day you’re going to see how the negotiations are going and how people are beginning to change their rhetoric.” She adds political leaders know there is a hard deadline before the fiscal cliff hits and as a result “people are going to start changing their rhetoric as time moves on.” Bono Mack also says, “I think you’re gong to see more people have a realistic approach to the answer,” although she feels her husband “probably" disagrees.
Mack says, “There are people like me who just don’t believe that raising taxes is a good idea anytime.” Mack adds, “If you raise taxes you’re going to slow economic growth.” Mack goes on to say he is the “only one that has a plan in congress to balance the budget in five years.” He proposes to “take one percent of spending across the board…that’s one penny out of everything.”
Mack says that ultimately “we need the president, we need Speaker Boehner to come together to provide leadership.” He adds, “Leadership doesn’t mean you’re going to get a 100% of the votes. Leadership means that you take a position you think is good for the country, you put it out there and you try to get the votes for it.”