President Obama presented a sharp contrast between his views and policies as compared to the recent Republican budget plan. The stakes are huge and the differences between the two parties could not be more stark. On one hand – you’ve got a proposal by President Obama to raise taxes on America’s wealthiest in order to maintain investments in early education, Pell Grants and funding important social safety net programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Or you could vote for a party that supports huge cuts in the social safety net in order to pay for an average tax cut of $265k a year for millionaires…that’s over and above the Bush tax cuts for the rich which are set to expire January 1, 2013.
“This congressional Republican budget is something different altogether. It is a Trojan Horse. Disguised as deficit reduction plans, it is really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. It is thinly veiled social Darwinism. It is antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everybody who’s willing to work for it; a place where prosperity doesn’t trickle down from the top, but grows outward from the heart of the middle class. And by gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last — education and training, research and development, our infrastructure — it is a prescription for decline. “
Ezra Klein points out what he thinks will be a key message for President Obama: Surprise – the Republican budget gives HUGE tax cuts for the wealthy:
“Meanwhile, these proposed tax breaks would come on top of more than a trillion dollars in tax giveaways for people making more than $250,000 a year. That’s an average of at least $150,000 for every millionaire in this country — $150,000. Let’s just step back for a second and look at what $150,000 pays for:
A year’s worth of prescription drug coverage for a senior citizen. Plus a new school computer lab. Plus a year of medical care for a returning veteran. Plus a medical research grant for a chronic disease. Plus a year’s salary for a firefighter or police officer. Plus a tax credit to make a year of college more affordable. Plus a year’s worth of financial aid. One hundred fifty thousand dollars could pay for all of these things combined — investments in education and research that are essential to economic growth that benefits all of us. For $150,000, that would be going to each millionaire and billionaire in this country. This budget says we’d be better off as a country if that’s how we spend it.”
Greg Sargent says Obama’s speech has three political objectives:
1) Obama cast the Romney-Ryan-GOP approach as not only radical and extreme, but as a proven failure.
2) Obama defended government activism as not just morally right, but as a way to faciliate economic growth.
3) Obama framed the choice as one over who sacrifices to fix the deficit.
Jonathan Chait explains how the Republican budget will lead to huge cuts in services that Americans care about:
Their tax-cut fixation, Obama proceeded to argue, forces them to embrace all sorts of cruel and simply stupid budget cuts: deep reductions to Medicaid, Pell Grants, infrastructure, and the like. Obama proclaimed his own willingness to make tough choices and again touted the balanced approach of the Bowles-Simpson deficit plan. But again and again he zeroed in on the point of contention: Republicans would require vastly larger spending cuts than he could accept because they refuse to accept any higher revenue.
In his speech today, Obama explicitly tied Mitt Romney to the House Republican budget plan, framing the election as a choice of priorities: Do Americans really want to undergo the fiscal pain that would be required in order to maintain the low tax rates demanded by Republicans? He has every reason to believe the answer is no.
Politico points out how Obama took a jab at Mitt Romney for calling Paul Ryan’s budget “marvelous”. You can find the full transcript of President Obama’s speech HERE. In case you forgot – I thought I’d remind you what happens with the Republican budget….
Paul Krugman calls it the “most fraudulent budget in history”.
Mitt Romney has embraced it as his own.
The Republican budget would turn Medicare into a voucher plan.
An analysis shows the Republican budget would give an ADDITIONAL $265k in tax cuts per year for millionaires.
It cuts out $3.3 TRILLION out of the social safety net
Jonathan Bernstein asks voters 10 questions to see if they’ll like the Republican plan.
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