September 19th, 2011
06:00 PM ET
Never mind about debt and deficits, today’s Rose Garden speech was largely about politics.
“I will not support. I will not support any plan that puts the burden on regular Americans," President Obama said today.
Burned after the summer's debt deal with Speaker John Boehner fell apart, the president is throwing down the gauntlet with a veto threat.
“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,” the president said.
For the congressional super-committee, that sounds like a recipe for gridlock since Speaker Boehner drew this line in the sand last week: “Tax increases, I think, are off the table, and I don't think they're a viable option for the joint committee,” the Speaker said.
The White House is proposing a plan that will save more than three trillion dollars over a ten-year period: The plan includes raising $1.5 trillion in tax revenues, saving $1.1 trillion from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and trimming $580 billion dollars from government programs more than half in savings from Medicare and Medicaid. An additional $430 billion will be saved in interest.
They also want tax reform to include a quote principle they call the Buffett rule, named after billionaire Warren Buffett
“If you're among those fortunate few in the United States, we should make sure you pay as a share of your income in taxes, more than what a middle class family pays,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told reporters at the White House on Monday.
Senior Congressional Republicans tell CNN the proposal is a non-starter, but the White House is gearing up to blame the GOP.
“The Speaker says we can't have it ‘my way or the highway’ and then basically says ‘my way or the highway’," Obama said Monday.
The president's already setting a course for Campaign 2012 by trying to position himself as a defender of the middle class and against a Republican party that he'd cast as protector of the wealthy.
“I believe the American middle class who have been pressured relentlessly for decades believe it's time that they were fought for as hard as some lobbyists and lawmakers fought to protect special treatment for billionaires and big corporations,” he said.