In speech this afternoon presenting his "vision" for deficit reduction, President Obama will lay out four steps, white House officials say:
* keeping domestic spending low
* cuts to the Pentagon budget
* health care savings in Medicare and Medicaid
“Taxes” includes both “reducing spending in our tax code" — the notion of tax loopholes as expenditures –as well as the president’s push to increase tax rates on upper income Americans, individuals who make more than $200,000 a year or families that make more than $250,000.
The President "will advocate a balanced approach to controlling out of control deficits and restoring fiscal responsibility while protecting the investments we need to grow our economy, create jobs, and win the future,” an administration official said.
Republicans have already called tax hikes a “non-starter.” The president today will contrast his vision with he’ll cast as the competing Republican vision – the budget proposal offered by House Budget Committee Chairman Rep Paul Ryan, R-Wisc. — saying that you can cut taxes for wealthy while attempting deficit reduction, but it can only be done by reducing or eliminating health care for seniors and the poor, cutting education by 25 percent, and gutting Clean Air protections.
"The President will make clear that while we all share the goal of reducing our deficit and putting our nation back on a fiscally responsible path, his vision is one where we can live within our means without putting burdens on the middle class and seniors or impeding our ability to invest in our future,” the official said.
The president’s recommendations, officials say, will build off of the deficit reduction measures from his proposed 2012 budget and borrow from the Debt Commission recommendations. The president will also mention the work on deficit reduction being done by a bipartisan group of six senators, noting how they, too, build off some of the assertions from the Debt Commission report, in the sense that they look at all corners of the budget to find savings.
Though the president has yet to describe his plan in detail, Republicans are assailing the notion of any tax increases while Democrats are criticizing him for discussing changes to Medicare.