Obama visits K'NEX factory in Hatfield
President Barack Obama arrived in Montgomery County Friday to talk about the fiscal cliff and holiday shopping.
At his first public event outside Washington, D.C., since his re-election, Obama was at the Rodon Group manufacturing facility in Hatfield, where K'NEX, Tinkertoys and other toys are made.
The president's primary mission was to discuss the economy and how the fiscal cliff and rising taxes could affect businesses like Rodon.
With the so-called "Fiscal Cliff" looming, President Barack Obama toured a toy manufacturer in Montgomery County today. On a visit to the K'NEX workshop in Hatfield, Obama applauded the company for keeping jobs in the US. "They manufacture almost 3,000 K'NEX pieces every minute and every box that ends up on store shelves in 30 countries is stamped 'Made In America' and that's something to be proud of."
The supportive crowd applauded and the president went on to say that the country thrives when the middle class is strong.
"I want to reward manufacturers like this one and small businesses that create jobs here — not overseas. And by the way this is a company — one of the few companies in the toy industry that have aggressively moved jobs back here."
Obama also talked about the larger challenges facing the country, including the tax cuts set to expire. He's pushing to renew them for most, but not all. "Right now Congress can pass a law that would prevent a tax hike on the first $250,000 of everybody's income. Everybody. So that means 98 percent of Americans, 97 percent of small businesses wouldn't see their income taxes go up by a single dime."
Obama said that would help families and companies plan for the future.
Noah Williams-Morrill, a local sixth grade student, got to attend the closed event because he posted online a one-minute video explaining the fiscal cliff.
"I made a video about the fiscal cliff," said Williams-Morrill. "It means that when the Bush tax cuts expire, families like mine will have to pay over like $2,000 in taxes and then because of other things, spending is getting cut for other things. So we're paying more and getting less."
Patricia Moyer, got invited by Secret Service personnel staying in the hotel where she's a housekeeping supervisor.
"It was awesome. I really enjoyed it," she said. But while Moyer enjoyed the event, she declined to share her thoughts on the president. "I agree with some of the things he says, and I disagree. Just like everybody else." Moyer didn't want to say which of the president's stances she disagrees with, adding, "I keep my political views to myself and I don't really like to discuss politics."
Outside the event a small group of protesters waved signs including one stating that taxing the rich, hurts everyone.