(WASHINGTON) — Small business owners emerged from the White House Tuesday confident that President Obama is committed to ending tax cuts for the wealthy and preserving tax breaks for the middle class as he works toward a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff.”
“What grows jobs in America are consumers spending money. And the average person needs that two or three thousand dollars in his pocket to help drive the economy,” Lewis Prince, co-founder of the Vintage Vinyl record store in St. Louis, Mo., told reporters after his meeting with the president. “Saying that tax breaks for the rich drive consumers lower down to spend is like saying… you can start your car by pouring gasoline on the hood. There is nothing – this is no proof, there is no factual data to support it and it’s completely a sham to say that.”
The president met Tuesday with over a dozen entrepreneurs, the first in a series of outreach meetings he is holding this week as he makes the case for a “balanced” deal to reduce the deficit before the looming “fiscal cliff” of mandatory spending cuts and tax increases kicks in on Jan 1.
“I was very encouraged by the meeting,” said Chris Yura, founder of SustainU, a sustainable clothing company in Morgantown, W. Va. “[The president] really delivered a message of confidence in moving forward with what I feel is the right direction to extend the [middle-class] tax cuts.”
“There was a lot of talk in the room about certainty,” reported Texas crop duster manufacturer David Ickert. “Small business wants certainty so they can plan, strategically look at how we move forward.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Susan Scutti, CNN
John Gunnerson, BYU-Idaho