Obama's debt plan
September 19th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Obama's debt plan

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.

soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Daniel Santos

    Reagan raised taxes several times and we had positive job growth, Clinton did the same and again positive job growth. Bush cuts taxes and want did we get, negative job growth. The numbers speak for themselves. When the rich have tax breaks they pocket the money, when the rich are taxed more they reinvest into their businesses to get additional tax breaks and then actually become "job creators"

    September 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • Proud American

      Didn't you forget, NAFTA kicked in and sent our jobs to China. There are no jobs because of your king, the wonderful one, BILL CLINTON.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
      • LVee

        I agree 100% and they also exported all of our jobs to those countries! Amazing that the corporate greedy shareholders are getting richer and the middle class and poor keep getting poorer. We as Americans but everything made in these third world countries to save a few bucks, but in the long run we are crippling our own jobs here on our soil. Boycott Walmart and other big box retailers that import everything and take back our jobs!!!!!! How? Tax the hell out of everything coming in... like back in Reagan days when he made Harley Davidson the # 1 motorcycle company in the US. He imposed a 25% import tax.

        September 26, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • Genie Kennedy

      You are so right. The right wing is afraid that the public will catch on to the fact that tax cuts for the rich cost jobs, and tax increases on the rich create jobs. I keep wondering when the media will do their job and do THAT research, rather than parroting the lies told by the tea partiers and their ilk.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • john

      Reagan actually cut taxes to get the economy going then he raised them when it was going. What stage are we in now?

      September 20, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
      • Genie Kennedy

        Reagan cut taxes on the rich, increased them on the middle class... and tripled the debt to fund the shortfall.

        September 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • john

      Take from the so called rich to give to a wasteful governmnet? Maybe we can create more "green jobs" so the Pres can take care of more of his buddies. If you work and are on the left you better wake up. Tax the wealthy business owners and they simply raise prices on you and me. People on the left just do not have a clue.

      September 20, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
      • Trace


        You can't be serious dude(?) Time to get out of your mother's basement and look around. Cutting taxes has DONE NOTHING, ZERO for job creation over the past 10 years. Guess what guy?...the corporations are awash in profits because there IS NO incentive to hire americans. The corporations have been getting these breaks without hiring americans but rather shifting jobs overseas. Haven't you noticed yet dude? Geesh I hope you're not old enough to vote...but by your post, I can tell you haven't been watching anything but faux news and getting dumber by the minute.

        September 21, 2011 at 1:39 am |
      • helen

        500 million for a loan to encourage green energy vs one TRILLION for an unecessary war that slaughtered hundreds of thousands.... and which do you choose to complain about?

        September 21, 2011 at 7:04 am |
    • mikle

      TO Daniel... You show so much college in your statement, so I can say only-:your record is perfect you wrong again.

      September 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  2. Terry Cunningham

    I am self-employed Funeral director and my base of income is from that class of people that have insurance(a dwindling group). I pay what i consider my fair share of Taxes. I do owe the IRS.And i take no goverment benefits, nor will they be available for me, I am 53. Now My Government wants to tax us more So more people will find life insurance a luxury and my business suffers. I have to live within my changing budget.so why shouldnt my government have too.
    reduce govt. spending and let us keep our dwindling money to support our families. (the reason for owing taxes?, assisting my parents and grandparents. Money better spent I feel.

    September 19, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • C-Lo

      Terry, the left thinks that the gov't is a better steward of our money than we are, which is why this logic makes no sense to them. Unfortunately, in many cases they are correct, because so many Americans these days mistake wants for needs (cell phones, vehicles, over-sized houses, $100 jeans, etc.) while ignoring their responsibilities (insurance, savings, quality food, etc.). Then when they realize the fallacy in their spending habits, they point the finger at corporations for advertising to them, the wealthy for hoarding, and the gov't for not protecting them.

      They are asking the same people to bail them out (govt) that put them in this mess to begin with by mandating social engineering in schools instead of knowledge, critical thinking and responsibility. The public school system teaches deflection of responsibility–if a child is failing, it is the fault of teachers, society, parents, doctors' prescriptions of the wrong ADD meds. Remember, Hillary said it takes a villiage to raise a child. This was a deliberate attempt to blame society on the failings of the upcoming generations instead of the failed liberal policies and irresponsible parents.

      It's all about big gov't to solve the problems THEY THEMSELVES CREATED to make the majority of society dependent on gov't instead of themselves. This mentality helps ensure continued re-election of nanny society liberals.

      September 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
      • Genie Kennedy

        This problem was created by Reagan and Bush – not "the left". Reagan more than doubled the rate that working class people pay for fica, then took the excess and "loaned" it to the operating fund so taxes could be cut for the rich. Bush took the surplus that Clinton worked 8 long years for, used it to give tax cuts to the rich... and then started a phony expensive war. Reagan tripled the debt.. Bush doubled it. But hey, let's blame Obama – the guy who is actively trying to reduce the deficit and is being blocked by crazy congresspeople.

        September 21, 2011 at 7:12 am |
    • Genie Kennedy

      Unless you make more than $250,00 more, your government does not want to tax you more.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
      • C-Lo

        That's not true. The left WANTS to tax you more, they are just looking for ways to do it without losing political points. They'll tax us directly to the point of pushback then search for ways to undermine direct taxes with "hidden taxes" on businesses and economic activity. Oh, they WANT to tax you, they just haven't yet.

        The other problem with this whole philosophy is when times are good and tax receipts are higher, instead of using the surplus to reduce debt and/or save, the gov't is more inclined to expand gov't. Then in lean times, they insist they need to increase taxes to make up for the shortfalls they created putting a further drag on economic activity.

        September 21, 2011 at 10:06 am |
  3. Bill in STL

    The president said

    “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.

    he problem is that those increases, at least at the coorporate level, will be passed on as an increase in cost to the consumer... It is part of the cost of doing business.... So you will be paying that increase....

    September 19, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • Proud American

      Absolutely!! Now get that through the heads of the Dems and Libs.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Genie Kennedy

      Business 101 = the market determines the price, not the cost of doing business. Anyone who determines the market price for their product based on their expenses, will not be in business long.

      September 20, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
      • C-Lo

        Buisness 99–if you don't at least cover your expenses you won't be in business at all. That is unless you buddy up to DC and get taxpayer money. Then you'll be in business for 1.5 years.

        September 21, 2011 at 9:40 am |
  4. Canuck

    Don't be ridiculous. Using that flawed logic any increase would create exponential increase. (As increases would increase tax, and thus create more increase. Dont be afraid to tax the three percent of the population that has 97 percent of the wealth. the oligarchs can afford it... Trust me.

    September 19, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
    • Seke

      97% of the wealth is owned by 3 per cent. Tell a lie often enough and even you will believe it . The Furer applauds your loyalty to lies

      September 20, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Proud American

      It’s not flawed logic. It is a reality. I will guarantee I will not be paying for my increases.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • C-Lo

      Canuck, you're the one with the flawed thinking. I certainly understand your logic of "exponential increases," and in simple math terms you are correct. However what you don't take into account is business math. For example–a company knows it needs to net $100 on its gadget, and it knows the tax it will have to pay is 3%. The company will then charge $103.10, collect $3.10 and forward on to the thieves in DC, writting off the tax as business expense and netting $100.

      The DC Thieves then say "company, we are increasing your tax from 3% to 10%. Company says, "OK, I'll raise my price to $111.11, collect $11.11 and forward on to the thieves in DC, writting off the tax as business expense and netting $100. You, me and the rest get that passed through to us in the form of inflated prices.

      September 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
      • john

        How about no more write offs for charity giving? Who will that hurt? Stupid Dems – but they don't give anyway so it is understandable.

        September 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
      • C-Lo

        @ john...the Dems would actually love that because then charities would fold and create more dependence on gov't, meaning more poor saps in their base.

        September 20, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  5. B Critcher

    In my hometown of Florence S.C., we added an “entertainment tax” of 1% to the sales tax of things like going out to eat. People in this town who have extra money go out to eat. They didn’t stop going out to eat over a 1% increase. In return we got some new roads. When the price of gas increased over a $1 a gallon, the rednecks in this town didn’t stop driving 4-wheel-drive trucks (and we have a lot of rednecks). The wealthy will not forgo a good investment over a small increase in their taxes. If the middle class had more money to spend: they would spend. If the middle class spends: demand increases. If demand increases: the wealthy will have something to invest in.
    My Father-in-law will drive $1 worth of gas to save 90 cents. The people who talk about class warfare remind me of my father-in-law.

    September 20, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  6. Roger

    How about a breakdown of the companies names that have enjoyed these tax cuts. Let Boehner show the production increase in our country by these companies and how many jobs were created by each company. Show if they moved production off-shore, where and if this production was taken from the American worker and given to a low labor cost country such as Vietnam, China, India etc. I do not think Boehner wants to reveal such facts as they will show that him and others are bald faced liars as we really know they are.
    What was that line again Boehner? Let the tax cuts expire and we will lose American Jobs. How can Boehner keep up the same lies?

    September 20, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • Proud American

      Don't forget your boy Slick Willie Clinton sent the jobs overseas with NAFTA. You can't compete with slave labor and stay in business. Think about it. How can you stay here when your competitor pays slave labor and freely sends the products to America? Don't be stupid. Think before you talk. Look beyond George Bush and you will find your answers.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Proud American

      I have a better idea; let’s pay Americans what China pays their employees and the same benefits. Then we can compete.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • john

      Here is one for you GE!!!

      September 20, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  7. Shawn

    CNN: Why are you burying this topic. The NY Times gets it, Yahoo Gets it, The AP gets it, Fox already got it, and MSNBC can't admit it. Obama is Lying through his teeth, playing partisan politics to energize his base and doesn't care if it turns americans against each other. The he's putting up an EZ to understand slogan so that even the dimest of Americans will repeat his BS. FACT: The Richest 2% of Americans pay more than anyone else. Obama will shrug off this fact (he's been called out on it by Yahoo, The AP, The NY Times and Fox so far) and continue to destroy our Country with his misguided beliefs. He is dismantling the Liberal party, and killing our Country. We want Hillary!

    September 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
  8. California Conservative

    Anythign that comes out of Obama's mouth now is strictly to get reelected. He's already proven himself a liar time and time again.

    September 20, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  9. mikle

    In his speech Obama mislead people about secretary pay more than Buffet secretary. Obama consider American people stupid. Buffet pay 15% on his gain capital money, not his paycheck. On his invest money HE already paid federal tax. His secretary pay federal tax, not capital gain tax. What a liar.

    September 20, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  10. mikle

    In his speech Obama mislead people about secretary pay more than Buffet secretary. Obama consider American people stupid. Buffet pay 15% on his gain capital money, not his paycheck. On his invest money HE already paid federal tax. His secretary pay federal tax, not capital gain tax. What a liar. I vote for Obama in2008. I ask for forgiveness.

    September 20, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  11. mikle

    I vote for Obama in 2008. Please, forgive me.

    September 20, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  12. C-Lo

    Let's take a quick walk down lefty lane...
    1. Gov't creates jobs; and
    2. Taxes create gov't; so
    3. More taxes=more gov't=more jobs; therefore–

    Why don't we tax all income at 100%. then we'd have the best economy and job situation EVER.

    If the gov't is such a great steward of your money, why don't the poor and middle class libs turn over their entire income to Uncle Sam to manage for them?

    September 20, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  13. Liz Carter in Georgia

    That's right Genie. These 'cons' really think all of us are D*mn fools! They also think if they just keep talking and saying the same thing, over and over again that it will meet with acceptance eventually by us, 'the left'. They got another thought coming....hang it up folks! OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!! Yep, America sure did fall under BUSH! OBAMA wouldn't have been faced with half the troubles he's been HAUNTED with had it not been for BUSH! All Obama's been trying to do is pick HER back up out of the gutter!

    September 21, 2011 at 8:11 am |
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    September 22, 2011 at 6:10 am |