President Obama spoke to the Rev. Al Sharpton for his syndicated radio show on Monday afternoon.
Sharpton, who has a show on MSNBC, asked the president for his response to the supercommittee announcing it had reached a deadlock.
“Look, there’s no doubt that I’m disappointed that not just Congress generally, but the Republicans in particular, are not willing to put serious revenue on the table as part of a balanced plan,” the president responded. “You know, this is something very straight forward, and you understand it, Al. We’ve got to get our budget under control. And there are basically two ways of doing it.
“One, which the Republicans are proposing, is you just cut — education, you cut science, you cut Medicare, you put more of a burden on people who can least afford it,” the president continued.
“Or, alternatively, you make some prudent cuts, selective cuts in programs that don’t work anymore,” he said. “You make some modifications in things that can work better, but then you also ask people like you and me who can afford it to pay a little bit more in our taxes. You get rid of the Bush tax cuts, you make sure the millionaires and billionaires are paying their fair share, and if you do it that way then everybody benefits. The economy’s stronger, markets have more confidence. Ironically, business and the wealthy would actually do better if the economy was stronger.
“So the position they’re taking is short-sighted,” the president continued. “But, you know,…it must be my religious faith, Reverend, ’cause, hope springs eternal and I continue to believe that at some point common sense will prevail and we’ll be able to work something out.”