The Note’s Must-Reads for Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates Jacqueline Fernandez, Jayce Henderson and Desk Assistant Amanda VanAllen

PRESIDENT OBAMA: ABC News’ Mary Bruce: “ Obama Outlines Deficit-Reduction Plan: ‘This Is Not Class Warfare’” President Obama today outlined a revamped plan to reduce the nation’s debt by more than $2 trillion in new tax increases and entitlement reforms, asking “everybody to do their part so that nobody has to bear too much of the burden on their own.” The plan, however, will likely be deemed dead-on-arrival by Republicans, who have vowed to reject tax increases as part of any plan to bring down the deficit. LINK

The Hills’ Sam Youngman: “ Obama plays to base with tax plan” President Obama made a direct appeal to his often-disgruntled base on Monday, proposing steep tax hikes on the wealthy as part of a $3 trillion deficit-reduction package.  By calling for $1.5 trillion in higher taxes for the rich and promising to institute the “Buffett rule,” which says millionaires and billionaires like Warren Buffett should not pay a lower tax rate than the middle class, Obama is seeking to settle Democratic and liberal voters disappointed in the lack of “hope and change” seen since his 2008 election.  LINK

USA Today: “ Editorial: Politics takes priority in Obama’s deficit plan” During his first two years in office, President Obama treated deficit reduction mostly as a pesky afterthought, but then he got religion after the 2010 election shellacking that gave Republicans control of the House. When House GOP leaders walked away in July from a “grand bargain” to reduce the deficit, however, Obama retooled again. The result was the plan he unveiled Monday in the Rose Garden to reduce deficits by $3.2 trillion over the next 10 years (on top of the $1.2 trillion in savings agreed to as part of the debt limit deal in August). LINK

Los Angeles Times’ Peter Nicholas and Lisa Mascaro: “ Obama’s deficit proposal marks a move away from compromise” Over the summer President Obama pushed a “grand bargain” that called on Republicans and Democrats to forge a compromise: Each would agree to painful sacrifices that would slash the nation’s deficit and shore up the social safety net for decades. The approach failed to achieve a deal, angered many Democrats and coincided with a steady drop in Obama’s prospects for reelection. LINK

The New York Times’ Jackie Calmes: “ Obama Draws New Hard Line on Long-Term Debt Reduction” With a scrappy unveiling of his formula to rein in the nation’s mounting debt, President Obama confirmed Monday that he had entered a new, more combative phase of his presidency, one likely to last until next year’s election as he battles for a second term. LINK

The Washington Post’s Peter Wallsten and Anne Kornblut: “ In early Obama White House, female staffers felt frozen out“  Friction about the roles of women in the Obama White House grew so intense during the first two years of the president’s tenure that he was forced to take steps to reassure senior women on his staff that he valued their presence and their input. LINK

Bloomberg’s Mike Dorning: “ Obama Plan to Trim Deficit With $1.5 Trillion in Taxes” President Barack Obama set aside his stance as compromiser-in-chief to champion the populist cause of “fairness” for the middle class in the struggle over how to bring down the nation’s budget deficit.  Obama yesterday targeted the rich for $1.5 trillion in tax increases over the next decade and threatened to veto any cut to benefits under the Medicare health-insurance plan for the elderly unless wealthy Americans pay higher taxes.   LINK 

Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown and Ben Smith: “ Obama deficit reduction plan embraces progressives President Barack Obama finally gave his liberal critics exactly what they wanted. His tough opening bid on deficit reduction and his feisty, defiant speech from the White House Monday were greeted with almost incredulous joy by progressives who have urged Obama to take this kind of hard line with Republicans since the day he was elected. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Carol E. Lee and Naftali Bendavid: “ Obama Yokes Benefit Cuts to New Taxes‘ President Barack Obama threatened Monday to veto any bill that cuts Medicare benefits without increasing taxes on corporations or the wealthy, setting his sharpest boundaries yet in negotiations over reducing the federal deficit. Mr. Obama’s position, laid out as he announced a new plan to cut deficits by $3.6 trillion over 10 years, increases the challenges for a congressional super committee to reach a deficit-cutting deal by Thanksgiving because Republican leaders have ruled out tax increases. LINK

GOP: The Washington Times’ Ralph Hallow: “ GOP’s primary calendar may aid Romney” Texas Gov. Rick Perry has the momentum now, but the calendar may give rival Mitt Romney an advantage over the front-runner if the primary battle for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination turns into a marathon hunt for delegates. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS: Tax Increases and the New ‘Confidence Men’ BookLINKTop Palestinian Rep.: ‘Viable Alternative’ Can Avert UN ShowdownLINK

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