Obama Pens Editorial: Makes the Case for ‘Big’ Debt Deal

By MichaelJames

Jul 21, 2011 7:35pm

ABC News’ Mary Bruce (@marykbruce) reports:

The president is continuing his push for a “grand bargain” to reduce the deficit through spending cuts and revenue increases, writing in a USA Today editorial that “we have the opportunity to do something big and meaningful.”

“People in both parties have suggested that the best way to take on our deficit is with a more balanced approach. Yes, we should make serious spending cuts. But we should also ask the wealthiest individuals and biggest corporations to pay their fair share through fundamental tax reform,” Obama writes. “A balanced deficit deal that includes some new revenues isn't just a Democratic position. It's a position that has been taken by everyone from Warren Buffett to Bill O'Reilly.”

Once again, Obama makes clear that he’s been willing to make tough decisions to raise the debt ceiling and reduce the nation’s $14.3 trillion deficit.

“I'm willing to cut historic amounts of spending in order to reduce our long-term deficits. I'm willing to cut spending on domestic programs to the lowest level in half a century. I'm willing to cut defense spending by hundreds of billions of dollars. I'm willing to take on the rising costs of health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid, so we can meet our obligations to an aging population,” he writes.

But the president warns, “If we tackle our deficit with spending cuts alone, it will likely end up costing seniors and middle-class families a great deal.”

With less than two weeks to avert default, Obama says the debate shouldn’t just revolve around avoiding the “catastrophe of not paying our bills.”

“That's the least we should do. This debate offers the chance to put our economy on stronger footing, restore a sense of fairness in our country, and secure a better future for our children. I want to seize that opportunity, and ask Americans of both parties and no party to join me in that effort,” he writes.

 - Mary Bruce

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