President Barack Obama urged Republicans to draw inspiration from the hero of fiscal conservatives, Ronald Reagan, who had agreed to revenue increases to cut the US deficit.
“Ronald Reagan repeatedly took steps that included revenue, in order for him to accomplish some of these larger goals,” Obama told CBS in an interview.
“And the question is if Ronald Reagan could compromise — why wouldn’t folks who idolize Ronald Reagan be willing to engage in those same kinds of compromises.”
Reagan was a staunch Republican, who led the United States for two terms from 1981 to 1989, and was in power when Congress was controlled by the Democrats.
He was known for adopting aggressive tax cuts, but amid a burgeoning deficit agreed to several measures designed to raise revenue for government coffers such as closing loopholes and cutting tax breaks.
In a parallel with today’s drama being played out between Democrat Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner, Reagan forged a budget with Democratic speaker Tip O’Neill despite their political and ideological differences.
On the third straight of key budget talks, Obama told CBS that he was confident a deal would get done, although he denounced “the kind of brinksmanship that I think is pretty dangerous.”
“If it turns out that the other side won’t budge on anything, then — we’re gonna be here every day until we get this done,” he added.
But he warned “we should not be leaving an issue of this magnitude that affects the world economy as well as the American economy, to the last minute.”