To follow is the speech we are likely to hear from President Obama on or about Dec. 31:
My fellow Americans,
I returned to Washington from my Christmas vacation early with the hope of being able to sign into law an eleventh hour bill that addresses the looming "fiscal cliff." My family and I might as well have stayed on the beach in Hawaii because as I had feared, Congress has failed to act.
Two years ago, I reluctantly acquiesced to Republican demands that the George W. Bush tax cuts be extended for all Americans, including the wealthiest 2%. I do not relish raising taxes on anyone, but I and a majority of the American people recognize that to get a handle on our economic challenges, one part of the puzzle is asking the wealthy to pay more, the same amount that they were taxed in the 1990s, an era of unprecedented prosperity. I stated without equivocation when I agreed to continue all of the Bush tax cuts for two years that I would not approve another extension, thus Congress has had more than two years to come to an agreement which includes an expiration of the cuts for those families with incomes of $250,000 or more.
Although I was re-elected, many Congressional Republicans are acting as if the GOP controls Congress and the presidency. There is not a sufficient number of reasonable Republicans in Congress to pass any legislation addressing the nation's problems unless there is no tax rate increase for anyone, something which the members know I cannot and will not endorse.
We now find ourselves at the point at which a host of detrimental economic measures, including tax increases for all Americans, will be enacted by default.
I tried to reach a solution that was fair and reasonable for the American people. The actions of the Republicans in Congress would indicate that the nation is ungovernable. I suggest that you ask them where we go from here as I have exhausted all reasonable efforts to protect you. Thank you and God bless you, and God bless our troubled United States of America.