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Teamsters President James Hoffa: Go Off Fiscal Cliff If Necessary

Teamsters President James Hoffa appeared on MSNBC's "Ed Show" to discuss the meeting heads of labor groups had with President Obama on Tuesday. Hoffa said if Republicans don't want to raise to raise taxes on the top 2% and protect the safety net then we should go off the fiscal cliff.

JAMES HOFFA: Right now, people are saying we have got to stand tall. We've had an election. These were the issues in the election and what organized labor is doing is urging this administration to stand tall, that was the message that was delivered today. We won and these were the very issues -- remember, they wanted to send you a voucher for your Medicare? They want to reform everything, basically take it away. We won the election, and now we have to stand tall to make sure to protect the safety net, Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid. This is what it's all about. And we should stand tall and if we go over the fiscal cliff, let's do it, because there is no sense kicking the can down the line.

What they're doing is trying to hold the 98% hostage for the 2% who aren't paying their fair share. Now every American realizes that the rich people should pay more money. I've talked to many Republicans who believed that, and that's the message we have to deliver. So, if they're playing that game, it's a losing hand. And we're on the right side of this, so I think we should go all the way and say this is what it is. Let's have reform, let's make sure we keep tax cuts for 98% of the people, but the 2% have to pay their fair share.

ED SCHULTZ: But Mr. Hoffa, you say that if we go off the fiscal cliff, you're prepared to do that. That would hurt a lot of your members. Are your members -- do you think middle class Americans are prepared to go down that road and bear the brunt of a tax increase just because the Republicans are stubborn?

HOFFA: Well, no one wants to see that happen, but guess what? This is something that is not going away.

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