President Obama today called Republican House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan's 2012 'Path to Prosperity' budget 'wrong for America,' and pushed his proposal to cut the deficit by $4 trillion over 12 years.
In a vote divided along party lines Friday, the House passed Ryan's budget, which would slash trillions from the budget over the next decade.
Angry Democrats attacked the bill's plan to transform Medicare and tax cuts for the nation's richest individuals and corporations.
The resolution passed 235-189, without a single Democrat voting in support. Just four Republicans -- Reps. Walter Jones, David McKinley, Ron Paul and Denny Rehberg -- opposed the bill.
During his weekly radio address today, Obama tried to make a case for the budget resolution he revealed in a speech earlier this week, saying that his "balanced approach" to getting the country back on track is the best way forward, rather than the GOP's cuts to health care and "job-creating" education.
"It's a vision that says that in order to reduce the deficit, we have to end Medicare as we know it, and make cuts to Medicaid that would leave millions of seniors, poor children, and Americans with disabilities without the care they need," Obama said.
He said the $1 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans must end, adding that "people like me" are able to contribute more.
"To restore fiscal responsibility, we all need to share in the sacrifice -- but we don't have to sacrifice the America we believe in," Obama said.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., giving the GOP response to the president's address, criticized what he called Obama's failure to "put a serious proposal on the table" and said "real leadership" is needed to solve the financial crisis.
"In his speech this week on the deficit, President Obama took us three steps backwards," Coburn said. "Instead of describing the threat and bringing both sides together, the president attacked those who have a different vision of the government.
"We face an unsustainable debt and unsustainable entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, all of which will collapse if they're not reformed," he said.
House Speaker John Boehner was quick to praise fellow Republicans on the passing of the budget.
"I want to say congratulations to Paul and the members of the Budget Committee for a job well done," Boehner said at a news conference before the vote. "This budget will bring more certainty to the American people, [and] show the American people that we're serious about cutting spending, because we all know that cutting spending will reduce some of the uncertainty that's causing job creators to sit on their hands."
When Ryan, who is from Wisconsin, unveiled the "Path to Prosperity" earlier this month, Democrats dubbed it the "Road to Ruin."
The plan would cut spending by $6.2 trillion over the next 10 years compared to spending levels in the president's 2012 budget request. Ryan's plan also reduces deficits by $4.4 trillion, but takes decades to balance the budget.
Republicans say the plan would save money by changing the Medicaid system, ending corporate welfare, privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and reducing discretionary spending below 2008 levels.
Over the long term, the GOP plan would transform the nation's Medicare program, changing it from a government-run system that pays seniors' health bills into a system where seniors buy insurance plans subsidized by the federal government.