Obama Braces Nation For "Heavy Lift" | NBC New York

Obama Braces Nation For "Heavy Lift"



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    "Everybody's going to have to give," Obama said of future tax increases and spending cuts. "Everybody's going to have to have some skin the game."

    In an interview on ABC's "This Week," President-elect Obama is warning that his campaign promises will take longer than he expected to carry out, and that Americans will face more of a burden than many have realized.

    "I'm focused on a pretty heavy lift, which is making sure we get that reinvestment and recovery package in place," Obama said.

    The interview with George Stephanopoulos, Obama's first since returning to Washington as presisdent-elect last weekend, was taped Saturday at the Newseum, where "This Week" has its studio, and will air on Sunday.

    "George, I want to be realistic here: Not everything that we talked about during the campaign are we going to be able to do on the pace we had hoped," Obama said in brief excerpts released by ABC.

    Obama also hinted at future tax increases and spending cuts.

    "Everybody's going to have to give," Obama said. "Everybody's going to have to have some skin the game."

    Obama has said he will repeal President Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans or ? more likely, now ? allow them to expire as scheduled at the end of 2010. And he has said he will cut or eliminate wasteful programs.

    "Our challenge is going to be identifying what works and putting more money into that, eliminating things that don't work, and making things that we have more efficient," he said.

    Stephanopoulos wrote on his blog:

    "I asked the president-elect, 'At the end of the day, are you really talking about over the course of your campaign some kind of grand bargain? That you have tax reform, healthcare reform, entitlement reform including Social Security and Medicare, where everybody in the country is going to have to sacrifice something, accept change for the greater good?'

    "'Yes,' Obama said.

    "'And when will that get done?' I asked. ...

    "'[W]hat you described is exactly what we're going to have to do. What we have to do is to take a look at our structural deficit, how are we paying for government? What are we getting for it? And how do we make the system more efficient?'"