Obama Throws Down Gauntlet on Tax Hikes, Republicans Blast Deficit Plan

April 14, 2011


President Obama, outlining his latest deficit-reduction proposal, called Wednesday for both parties to work together to balance the budget and put America on a path toward paying down its debt. But the address left both sides digging in on one crucial issue — taxes.

In a case of an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object, Obama said he absolutely would not allow tax cuts for those making above $250,000 to be extended.

Republicans said they absolutely would not accept a new tax hike. “Any plan that starts with job-destroying tax hikes is a non-starter,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a written statement.

Based on the response of Republican members of Congress — as well as several likely presidential candidates — the address may have served to inflame the debate rather than reset it. Tax hikes weren’t the only plank in Obama’s budget plan, but they generated the most criticism.

“The only concrete proposal that he proposed was raising taxes,” House GOP Leader Eric Cantor said afterward. “That solution falls far short of dealing with the kind of crisis that we’re facing.”

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., skewered the president’s address, accusing him of “exploiting people’s emotions of fear, envy and anxiety.”

The response previewed a grueling battle as both parties prepare to trudge through a new set of budget issues in the months ahead. The speech also served as an opening argument for the 2012 campaign, and Obama drew a clear line between his long-term budget plan and Republicans’.

In the speech at George Washington University, he positioned his spending plan as a more “compassionate” alternative to one introduced last week by Ryan. He applauded Republicans for putting a plan on the table to address entitlements, but the praise stopped there.

“The way this plan achieves those goals would lead to a fundamentally different America than the one we’ve known certainly in my lifetime,” Obama said, calling the GOP plan “deeply pessimistic.” He suggested Republicans were giving up on basic functions of government.

“It’s a vision that says if our roads crumble and our bridges collapse, we can’t afford to fix them. If there are bright young Americans who have the drive and the will but not the money to go to college, we can’t afford to send them,” Obama said of the Republican plan. “It’s a vision that says America can’t afford to keep the promise we’ve made to care for our seniors.”

The president claimed his proposal would cut $4 trillion from the deficit in 12 years or less. He drew several lines in the sand as he explained how he planned to get there.

Accusing Republicans of cutting services to seniors and poor children while cutting taxes for the rich, Obama said: “That’s not right, and that’s not going to happen as long as I’m president.”
To read more, visit: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/04/13/gop-leaders-raise-alarm-tax-talk-obama-deficit-plan/#ixzz1JSe0bHOz


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