President Barack Obama on Monday spoke at the White House Rose Garden about his proposal to cut the Federal deficit and pay for his American Jobs Act.
Congress’ Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, aka supercommittee, has until Thanksgiving to produce a plan to cut deficits over the next 10 years by at least $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion. The White House and standing Congressional committees have until Oct. 14 to make recommendations to that panel. The President’s announcement Monday was the first part of that process.
Obama claimed that his plan will cut $2 in spending for every dollar spent by reducing military spending, government waste and reforming tax laws. The Administration claims that the plan pays for the President’s jobs bill and produces savings of more than $3 trillion over the next decade, on top of the roughly $1 trillion in spending cuts signed into law in the Budget Control Act – for a total savings of more than $4 trillion over the next decade. The Administration says that the plan will reign in deficit spending by 2017.
Obama again asked Congress to pass his bill immediately, saying that it includes ideas from both sides of the political spectrum.
“There shouldn’t be any reason for Congress to drag its feet, they should pass it right away,” the President said.
Obama denied that his tax proposal was class warfare, saying it was simply fair for those who have done well to pay their “fair share.” The President called on the supercommittee to undertake comprehensive tax reform, and laid out five principles for it to follow: lower tax rates, cut wasteful loopholes and tax breaks, reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion, boost job creation and growth, and follow the “Buffett Rule” that people making more than $1 million a year should not pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle-class families pay. The plan also calls for an end to 2001 and 2003 tax breaks for top earners and fewer deductions for those making more than $250,000.
Obama also said that he not allow Medicare to be touched as a means by which to reduce the deficit without first making sure that wealthy Americans have “paid their fair share.”