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Obama’s plan: Tax the rich, protect Medicare

By CALLIE MORAN -- Capitol Hill White House Correspondent
September 20, 2011

President Barack Obama speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Barack Obama Monday launched an ambitious deficit reduction plan with $1.5 trillion in new taxes aimed at closing loopholes used by the rich and one that he says will cut the national debt by more than $4 trillion over the next 10 years.

“It comes down to this: We have to prioritize,” the President said.  “Both parties agree that we need to reduce the deficit by the same amount — by $4 trillion.  So what choices are we going to make to reach that goal?  Either we ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share in taxes, or we’re going to have to ask seniors to pay more for Medicare.  We can’t afford to do both.”

Obama vowed to veto any legislation that cuts Medicare, saying “we just can’t cut our way out of this hole.”

Added the President in his speech on Monday:

Either we gut education and medical research, or we’ve got to reform the tax code so that the most profitable corporations have to give up tax loopholes that other companies don’t get. We can’t afford to do both.

This is not class warfare. It’s math. The money is going to have to come from someplace. And if we’re not willing to ask those who’ve done extraordinarily well to help America close the deficit and we are trying to reach that same target of $4 trillion, then the logic, the math says everybody else has to do a whole lot more: We’ve got to put the entire burden on the middle class and the poor. We’ve got to scale back on the investments that have always helped our economy grow. We’ve got to settle for second-rate roads and second-rate bridges and second-rate airports, and schools that are crumbling.

That’s unacceptable to me. That’s unacceptable to the American people. And it will not happen on my watch. I will not support — I will not support — any plan that puts all the burden for closing our deficit on ordinary Americans. And I will veto any bill that changes benefits for those who rely on Medicare but does not raise serious revenues by asking the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to pay their fair share. We are not going to have a one-sided deal that hurts the folks who are most vulnerable.

Unlike previous vague proposals from the White House, Obama’s new plan is long on specifics.

Republicans, as expected, were not impressed.  Said Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell:

Veto threats, a massive tax hike, phantom savings, and punting on entitlement reform is not a recipe for economic or job growth or even meaningful deficit reduction. The good news is that the Joint Committee is taking this issue far more seriously than the White House.

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3 Responses to Obama’s plan: Tax the rich, protect Medicare

  1. Keith

    September 20, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Just more smoke and mirrors.

    The middle class are the people who pay the bulk of taxes in the USA. So all this nonsense about “taxing the rich” won’t even make a tiny dent in the deficit.

    That’s because its the middle class whose jobs have been decimated by an uncompetitive US corporate tax structure that has driven the companies they once worked for to relocate overseas where both corporate taxes and labor costs are lower.

    Unless and until that trend is reversed, and the US corporate tax structure becomes more competitive (35% in the USA vs. as low as 15% elsewhere) Obama and his minions can yell all they want about “taxing the rich”, but doing so won’t amount to a hill of beans in getting the US economy moving again.

    The US manufacturing infrastructure…where most of the middle class jobs once were…has long since been decimated by out of touch politicians who myopically still think we’re still living back in the early 1900s when corporations had no choice but places like the USA and Canada as to where they set up shop to manufacture things.

    Now they have MANY choices.

  2. Carl Nemo **==

    September 20, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    “Obama’s plan: Tax the rich, protect Medicare” …article lead line

    How about ash-canning his uber spendy ‘Obamacare’ before it moves away from the dock. Nah, that’s his evil legacy upon this nation. It’s not a medical plan, but a womb to tomb statist nightmare that will intrude into every aspect of our lives with efficient medical care being minimal to none. In fact it will siphon $500 billion away from existing Medicare. This guy is an expert in talking out of both sides of his mouth along with his ‘hand gestures’ as shown in the photo. / : |

    Why anyone even listens to the guy in public or the boob tube is beyond me. He and his leftie advisers are like a rock in our national shoe;I.E.,, one big…OUCH!

    http://obamaclock.org/

    Carl Nemo **==

  3. griff

    September 20, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Those pesky rich people! Where do they get off making money while the rest of the country starves?

    The many travails we face can’t possibly be because of an out-of-control government wasting billions of dollars a day on corporate welfare and endeless war.

    Nah, it’s those pesky rich people.