After President Obama presented his speech on reducing the federal debt, Republicans went on a crying spree, accusing the President of not playing fair, and “making a partisan speech.” All of a sudden, the very same Republicans who have stood in the way of every single piece of legislation the Obama administration has put forth, are now questioning why, as they see it, President Obama is not working with them and agreeing on the Paul Ryan budget.
So to make sure Republicans heard him the first time around, President Obama used his weekly address to put emphasis on his original points – that all, including the rich, must contribute their share to America’s future, and that Paul Ryan’s plan is not worth the paper it is written on.
Now, one plan put forward by some Republicans in the House of Representatives aims to reduce our deficit by $4 trillion over the next ten years. But while I think their goal is worthy, I believe their vision is wrong for America. It’s a vision that says, at a time when other nations are hustling to out-compete us for the jobs and businesses of tomorrow, we have to make drastic cuts in education, infrastructure, and clean energy – the very investments we need to win that competition and get those jobs.
It’s a vision that says that in order to reduce the deficit, we have to end Medicare as we know it, and make cuts to Medicaid that would leave millions of seniors, poor children, and Americans with disabilities without the care they need.
But even as this plan proposes these drastic cuts, it would also give $1 trillion in tax breaks to the wealthiest 2% of Americans–an extra $200,000 for every millionaire and billionaire in the country.
I don’t think that’s right. I don’t think it’s right to ask seniors to pay thousands more for health care, or ask students to postpone college, just so we don’t have to ask those who have prospered so much in this land of opportunity to give back a little more.