By BEN FELLER, Associated Press
NEW YORK -- President Barack Obama warned Monday that the United States is headed down a "perilous path" if its leaders cannot move quickly and responsibly to help people get back to work.
Obama, speaking at an exclusive Park Avenue fundraiser for his re-election and for other Democrats, promoted his plans to spur hiring and put a dent in the long-term debt. He proposes to pay for his ideas in large part by raising taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations.
Republican leaders have offered strong opposition to his economic program.
`'If we don't succeed, then I think this country is going to go down a very perilous path," Obama told his audience in brief remarks in front of reporters.
He said that meant conditions would get worse for everyone, rich and poor.
Obama spoke at the home of Ralph Schlosstein and Jane Hartley. About 60 people paid $35,800 each to attend.
The president's fundraiser, the first of two in two nights, came ahead of his diplomatic meetings at the United Nations on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Obama is seeking a second term amid an increasingly dismal economy and some of the lowest poll numbers of his presidency.
He told his supporters that his mission is to keep building a thriving middle class and offering a `'big, generous" vision of America as a place of opportunity for all.
If so, he said, `'then I'm confident the American people will follow us. That's where they want to be."
Schlosstein is CEO of Evercore Partners, Inc., an investment banking advisory form, and Hartley is the CEO of the Observatory Group, an economic and political consulting firm.
Under federal law, the Obama campaign can get $5,000 of each individual contribution. The Democratic National Committee will get the balance.