News / USA

Obama Proposes $3 Trillion Deficit, Debt Plan

President Barack Obama gestures while speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, September 19, 2011.
President Barack Obama gestures while speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, September 19, 2011.

Presenting his second major set of economic proposals in 10 days, President Barack Obama has unveiled a plan for more than $3 trillion in spending reductions over the next decade, saying all Americans, and specifically the wealthy, will be asked to share the burden of fixing the economy. Republicans already are criticizing the proposals.

In battles with Congress over deficit and debt reduction and taxes, Obama has always stressed the need for balance in fixing the nation's fiscal mess, and shared sacrifice while not harming the most vulnerable Americans.

Coming after his $447-billion jobs proposal, his recommendations to a joint congressional deficit reduction panel raise the stakes again in the political wrestling match with opposition Republicans.

Combo of cuts, taxes

The plan contains more than $3.2 trillion in deficit savings over the next decade, combining spending cuts with new tax revenue - including a new minimum tax on millionaires.

With the earlier $1 trillion in cuts from a difficult compromise with Republicans, this makes for $4.4 trillion, on the level of the so-called grand bargain that Obama advocated earlier this year, but Republicans ultimately rejected.

"It is a plan that reduces our debt by more than $4 trillion, and achieves these savings in a way that is fair, by asking everybody to do their part so that no one has to bear too much of the burden on their own," said the president.

Obama's plan takes aim at tax loopholes favoring the wealthy, and assumes an expiration of tax cuts approved by Congress under former Republican President George W. Bush. It also seeks broad tax reforms.

Ending certain tax breaks

Included are steps Republicans have resisted, such as eliminating tax breaks for oil and gas companies, ending tax advantages for highly-paid Wall Street fund managers, and eliminating benefits for those who own corporate jets.

It also envisions $1.1 trillion in savings from the drawdown of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, $250 billion in other so-called mandatory programs, reducing government waste, and streamlining federal agencies.

Obama proposes more than $300 billion in savings from Medicare and Medicaid, the so-called "entitlement" programs burdening the economy, part of more than $500 billion in cuts to mandatory programs.

The president responded to Republican and conservative Tea Party critics who have accused him of conducting "class warfare" by targeting the wealthy for tax increases.

He said he will reject anything that reduces benefits for those depending on major government health programs and Social Security, unless wealthy Americans and large companies are asked to pay more.

"I will not support any plan that puts all the burden for closing our deficit on ordinary Americans. And 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 the biggest corporations to pay their fair share," he said.

Showdown with Republicans

The White House says implementing the plan would put the United States in a position by 2017 where government spending does not add to the national debt, currently more than $14 trillion, with debt beginning to fall as a share of GDP.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said, "Why $4 trillion? That is what you need to bring the deficits down to a level that that we can sustain over time."

Under the previous deficit compromise, which Republicans linked to the national debt ceiling, the joint congressional committee must find $1.5 trillion in additional savings by November. Failure to do so would lead to automatic cuts.

The House of Representatives speaker, Republican John Boehner, accused Obama of "pitting one group of Americans against another." He said it is evident that "barriers" remain between himself and the president over tax increases and entitlement programs.

With polls showing most Americans favor more sacrifice from the wealthy, Obama wants to increase public pressure on Republicans, as the congressional committee works on its decisions, and reduce criticism from within his Democratic base.

The White House believes that by finally "drawing the line" on the need for tax increases on the wealthy, a president with low approval numbers on his handling of the economy will be able to draw an even clearer contrast with Republican positions as the 2012 election draws near.

Saying the changes he is proposing are neither easy nor politically convenient, Obama said it's the responsibility of leaders in Washington to "put country before party" in a debate he says is as much about fairness as it is about facing up to a legacy of debt that threatens the economy.


You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid