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Obama Visits Pa. Toy Company Amid Fiscal Cliff Debate

President Obama visits Hatfield toy company as part of tour pushing extension of payroll tax cuts.

President Barack Obama visited a toy factory in Hatfield Township, Montgomery County on Friday, citing it as an example of the type of business that would suffer if Congress does not act soon to prevent the country from running over the "fiscal cliff," a series of tax increases and cuts in spending that are due to come into effect at the beginning of the new year.

In remarks broadcast live on C-SPAN, Obama called Hatfield-based K'Nex, which makes kits of interlocking pieces that allow children to construct their own toys, "one of the few companies in the toy industry that has aggressively moved jobs back here [to the U.S. from overseas],"

The President said middle-class consumers will have money "to buy more K'Nex" if Democratic and Republican legislators can "get out of our comfort zones" to reach a compromise that would extend payroll tax cuts. Middle class families will pay an average of $2,200 more in taxes in 2013 if the tax cuts expire, Obama said.

Obama asked that people make sure their "voices are heard" by their local federal legislators.

"I need folks like you, the people here in Hatfield and in Pennsylvania, to get this done," Obama said.

Republicans, meanwhile, said the "massive spending spree" of Obama's "Democrat allies" in Congress was to blame for leading the country towards the "fiscal cliff." A statement sent to the media Friday by the Republican National Committee said Obama's proposal to raise taxes on small businesses and individuals earning more than $250,000 per year would cause the loss of an estimated 30,800 jobs in Pennsylvania.

Locally, a Perkiomen Township business owner served as the standard bearer for the Republican message. Jerry Gorski, owner of Gorski Engineering, starred in a video issued by House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

"This notion of $250,000 being the top two percent or the wealthy people in America ignores the way most small businesses work in America," Gorski said in the video.

About a half mile from the site of the President's visit, a group of anti-tax activists staged a protest along the shoulder of Route 309.

Conservative not republician December 01, 2012 at 12:03 AM
As a small business owner for over 30 years, I have no problem with Obama's tax plan. Most (over 95%) small business owners will never see earned income over 250K per year. Gross income/gross sales are over 250K/ year but that has nothing to do with tax rates which are based on net income or earned income.AND, I would think that the average person thinks of a small business as a ma & pa store, a small (10-20 employee) shop; BUT the GOP and gov't defines a small business as one with less than 500 employees and I think up to 50 mil in sales per year.
Staberdearth December 01, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Within the distribution of what is considered a small business and who makes $250k, I take more issue with dampening effect that this has on those who wish to expand their business. They will somehow find ways to avoid it. So then what are the true consequences? I am so so proud of you capping your own dreams as they bump up against the hard ceiling of redistributive economics. So noble, so misplaced. Go hire a few more folks in that expansion and forget about giving more to Obama's far left economic policies. He called the tune, you are stepping to it. In a world where the US government protects operations "too big to fail" this is a dripping irony to actually place a factor that would actually limit such expansions by price business owners. I know that if I ever bumped up against this $250k random range demarcation, I'd get as creative with it as was required to grow my business. I am less worried about the predictable effects of this taxation at this level and more concerned about Mommy Gumbont never, ever reining in spending since JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING these days THAT CAN BE CUT are OBVIOUS pandering entitlements meant to grub for self perpetuating votes. I see that YOU do not see the end game. Do you strategically plan for your business? It would appear not...
Conservative not republician December 01, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Typical response from the far right. Business economics 101: product demand is what grows businesses, not taxes. An added 3% tax on income OVER 250K (the first 250K income will be taxed the same as it is now) does not/will not affect the growth of a business. If demand is not there a business will not expand/hire even if they paid no taxes. The way to expand business is to put more money into the hands of the consumer, the low/middle class spenders. There is no rational arguement that a business person will turn down making an additional $100,000 because they would have to pay an added $3,000 in taxes.
Ron Beitler December 02, 2012 at 05:56 PM
I tend to agree. During Romney's campaign I had a major issue with the definition of small business. I am also a small business owner with employees and growing. You nailed it on the head. My burden is earned income tax at the middle class levels. And yes maybe hopefully someday I'll touch 250k. But it's likely I won't. Of course I hope to and I'm working hard to do so. But reality is what it is.

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