Obamination: Budgetary Demagoguery
If Allah wanted to give the world an enema, he'd stick the tube in Obama's mouth. I heard Rush & Sean describe Obama's arrogant, condescending bearing & attitude and wanted to verify their reporting, but my system and connection can't play the videos. I am satisfied with the sound bites I heard on the radio; the attitude came through loud and clear.
George Washington University
1:48 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. (Applause.) Please have a seat. Please have a seat, everyone.
It is wonderful to be back at GW. I want you to know that one of the reasons that I worked so hard with Democrats and Republicans to keep the government open was so that I could show up here today. I wanted to make sure that all of you had one more excuse to skip class. (Laughter.) You’re welcome. (Laughter.)
I want to give a special thanks to Steven Knapp, the president of GW. I just saw him -- where is he? There he is right there. (Applause.)
We've got a lot of distinguished guests here -- a couple of people I want to acknowledge. First of all, my outstanding Vice President, Joe Biden, is here. (Applause.) Our Secretary of the Treasury, Tim Geithner, is in the house. (Applause.) Jack Lew, the Director of the Office of Mangement and Budget. (Applause.) Gene Sperling, Chair of the National Economic Council, is here. (Applause.) Members of our bipartisan Fiscal Commission are here, including the two outstanding chairs -- Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson -- are here. (Applause.)
And we have a number of members of Congress here today. I'm grateful for all of you taking the time to attend.
What we’ve been debating here in Washington over the last few weeks will affect the lives of the students here and families all across America in potentially profound ways. This debate over budgets and deficits is about more than just numbers on a page; it’s about more than just cutting and spending. It’s about the kind of future that we want. It’s about the kind of country that we believe in. And that’s what I want to spend some time talking about today.
From our first days as a nation, we have put our faith in free markets and free enterprise as the engine of America’s wealth and prosperity. More than citizens of any other country, we are rugged individualists, a self-reliant people with a healthy skepticism of too much government.
But there’s always been another thread running through our history -– a belief that we’re all connected, and that there are some things we can only do together, as a nation.1 We believe, in the words of our first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, that through government, we should do together what we cannot do as well for ourselves.
And so we’ve built a strong military to keep us secure, and public schools and universities2 to educate our citizens. We’ve laid down railroads and highways to facilitate travel and commerce. We’ve supported the work of scientists and researchers whose discoveries have saved lives, unleashed repeated technological revolutions, and led to countless new jobs and entire new industries. Each of us has benefitted from these investments, and we’re a more prosperous country as a result.
Part of this American belief that we’re all connected3 also expresses itself in a conviction that each one of us deserves4 some basic measure of security and dignity5. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, hard times or bad luck, a crippling illness or a layoff may strike any one of us.6 “There but for the grace of God go I,” we say to ourselves. And so we contribute7 to programs like Medicare and Social Security, which guarantee us health care and a measure of basic income after a lifetime of hard work; unemployment insurance, which protects8 us against unexpected job loss; and Medicaid, which provides care for millions of seniors in nursing homes, poor children, those with disabilities. We’re a better country because of these commitments9. I’ll go further. We would not be a great country without those commitments10.
Now, for much of the last century, our nation found a way to afford11 these investments and priorities with the taxes paid by its citizens. As a country that values fairness12, wealthier individuals have traditionally borne a greater share of this burden13 than the middle class or those less fortunate. Everybody pays, but the wealthier have borne a little more. This is not because we begrudge those who’ve done well -– we rightly celebrate their success. Instead, it’s a basic reflection of our belief that those who’ve benefited most from our way of life14 can afford to give back15 a little bit more. Moreover, this belief hasn’t hindered the success of those at the top of the income scale. They continue to do better and better with each passing year16.
Now, at certain times -– particularly during war or recession -– our nation has had to borrow money to pay for some of our priorities17. And as most families understand, a little credit card debt isn’t going to hurt if it’s temporary18.
But as far back as the 1980s, America started amassing debt at more alarming levels, and our leaders began to realize that a larger challenge was on the horizon. They knew that eventually, the Baby Boom generation would retire, which meant a much bigger portion of our citizens would be relying on programs like Medicare, Social Security, and possibly Medicaid. Like parents with young children who know they have to start saving for the college years, America had to start borrowing less and saving more to prepare for the retirement of an entire generation.19
To meet this challenge, our leaders came together three times during the 1990s to reduce our nation’s deficit -- three times. They forged historic agreements that required tough decisions made by the first President Bush, then made by President Clinton, by Democratic Congresses and by a Republican Congress. All three agreements asked for shared responsibility and shared sacrifice20. But they largely protected the middle class; they largely protected our commitment to seniors; they protected our key investments21 in our future.
As a result of these bipartisan efforts, America’s finances were in great shape by the year 200022. We went from deficit to surplus. America was actually on track to becoming completely debt free, and we were prepared for the retirement of the Baby Boomers.
But after Democrats and Republicans committed to fiscal discipline23 during the 1990s, we lost our way in the decade that followed. We increased spending dramatically for two wars24 and an expensive prescription drug program25 -– but we didn’t pay for any of this new spending26. Instead, we made the problem worse with trillions of dollars in unpaid-for27 tax cuts -– tax cuts that went to every millionaire and billionaire28 in the country; tax cuts that will force us to borrow29 an average of $500 billion every year over the next decade.
To give you an idea of how much damage this caused to our nation’s checkbook, consider this: In the last decade, if we had simply found a way to pay for the tax cuts and the prescription drug benefit, our deficit would currently be at low historical levels in the coming years30.
But that’s not what happened. And so, by the time I took office31, we once again found ourselves deeply in debt and unprepared for a Baby Boom retirement32 that is now starting to take place. When I took office, our projected deficit, annually, was more than $1 trillion. On top of that, we faced a terrible financial crisis and a recession that, like most recessions, led us to temporarily borrow even more.
In this case, we took a series of emergency steps33 that saved millions of jobs34, kept credit flowing35, and provided working families extra money in their pocket36. It was absolutely the right thing to do, but these steps were expensive, and added to our deficits in the short term37.
So that’s how our fiscal challenge was created. That’s how we got here. And now that our economic recovery38 is gaining strength, Democrats and Republicans must come together and restore the fiscal responsibility39 that served us so well in the 1990s. We have to live within our means.40 We have to reduce our deficit41, and we have to get back on a path that will allow us to pay down our debt42. And we have to do it in a way that protects the recovery43, protects the investments we need to grow44, create jobs45, and helps us win the future46.
Now, before I get into how we can achieve this goal, some of you, particularly the younger people here -- you don't qualify, Joe. (Laughter.) Some of you might be wondering, “Why is this so important? Why does this matter to me?”
Well, here’s why. Even after our economy recovers, our government will still be on track to spend more money than it takes in throughout this decade and beyond. That means we’ll have to keep borrowing more from countries like China. That means more of your tax dollars each year will go towards paying off the interest on all the loans that we keep taking out. By the end of this decade, the interest that we owe on our debt could rise to nearly $1 trillion. Think about that. That's the interest -- just the interest payments.
Then, as the Baby Boomers start to retire in greater numbers and health care costs continue to rise, the situation will get even worse. By 2025, the amount of taxes we currently pay will only be enough to finance our health care programs -- Medicare and Medicaid -- Social Security, and the interest we owe on our debt. That’s it. Every other national priority -– education, transportation, even our national security -– will have to be paid for with borrowed money.
Now, ultimately47, all this rising debt will cost us jobs and damage our economy. It will prevent us from making the investments44 we need to win the future46. We won’t be able to afford48 good schools49, new research50, or the repair of roads -– all the things that create new jobs51 and businesses here in America. Businesses will be less likely to invest and open shop in a country that seems unwilling or unable to balance its books. And if our creditors start worrying that we may be unable to pay back our debts, that could52 drive up interest rates for everybody who borrows money -– making it harder for businesses to expand and hire, or families to take out a mortgage53.
Here’s the good news: That doesn’t have to be our future. That doesn’t have to be the country that we leave our children. We can solve this problem.54 We came together as Democrats and Republicans to meet this challenge before55; we can do it again.
But that starts by being honest about what’s causing our deficit56. You see, most Americans tend to dislike government spending in the abstract, but like the stuff that it buys. Most of us, regardless of party affiliation, believe that we should have a strong military and a strong defense. Most Americans believe we should invest in education and medical research. Most Americans think we should protect commitments like Social Security and Medicare. And without even looking at a poll, my finely honed political instincts tell me that almost nobody believes they should be paying higher taxes.57 (Laughter.)
So because all this spending is popular with both Republicans and Democrats alike58, and because nobody wants to pay higher taxes, politicians are often eager to feed the impression that solving the problem is just a matter of eliminating waste and abuse59. You’ll hear that phrase a lot. “We just need to eliminate waste and abuse.” The implication is that tackling the deficit issue won’t require tough choices. Or politicians suggest that we can somehow close our entire deficit by eliminating things like foreign aid60, even though foreign aid makes up about 1 percent of our entire federal budget.
So here’s the truth. Around two-thirds of our budget -- two-thirds -- is spent on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and national security61. Two-thirds. Programs like unemployment insurance, student loans, veterans’ benefits, and tax credits for working families take up another 20 percent. What’s left, after interest on the debt, is just 12 percent for everything else. That’s 12 percent for all of our national priorities -- education, clean energy, medical research, transportation, our national parks, food safety, keeping our air and water clean62 -- you name it -- all of that accounts for 12 percent of our budget.
Now, up till now, the debate here in Washington, the cuts proposed by a lot of folks in Washington, have focused exclusively on that 12 percent. But cuts to that 12 percent alone won’t solve the problem. So any serious plan to tackle our deficit will require us to put everything on the table, and take on excess spending63 wherever it exists in the budget.
A serious plan doesn’t require us to balance our budget overnight –- in fact, economists think that with the economy just starting to grow again, we need a phased-in approach –- but it does require tough decisions and support from our leaders in both parties now. Above all, it will require us to choose a vision64 of the America we want to see five years, 10 years, 20 years down the road.
Now, to their credit, one vision has been presented and championed by Republicans in the House of Representatives and embraced by several of their party’s presidential candidates. It’s a plan that aims to reduce our deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years, and one that addresses the challenge of Medicare and Medicaid in the years after that.
These are both worthy goals. They’re worthy goals for us to achieve. But the way this plan achieves those goals would lead to a fundamentally different America65 than the one we’ve known certainly in my lifetime. In fact, I think it would be fundamentally different than what we’ve known throughout our history.
A 70 percent cut in clean energy66. A 25 percent cut in education67. A 30 percent cut in transportation68. Cuts in college Pell Grants that will grow to more than $1,000 per year. That’s the proposal. These aren’t the kind of cuts you make when you’re trying to get rid of some waste or find extra savings in the budget. These aren’t the kinds of cuts that the Fiscal Commission proposed. These are the kinds of cuts that tell us we can’t afford the America69 that I believe in and I think you believe in.
I believe it paints a vision of our future that is deeply pessimistic. 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 them70.
Go to China and you’ll see businesses opening research labs and solar facilities. South Korean children are outpacing our kids in math and science71. They’re scrambling to figure out how they put more money into education. Brazil is investing billions in new infrastructure and can run half their cars not on high-priced gasoline, but on biofuels72. And yet, we are presented with a vision that says the American people, the United States of America -– the greatest nation on Earth -– can’t afford73 any of this.
It’s a vision that says America can’t afford to keep the promise we’ve made to care for our seniors74. It says that 10 years from now, if you’re a 65-year-old who’s eligible for Medicare, you should have to pay nearly $6,400 more than you would today. It says instead of guaranteed75 health care, you will get a voucher. And if that voucher isn’t worth enough to buy the insurance that’s available in the open marketplace, well, tough luck -– you’re on your own. Put simply, it ends Medicare as we know it.
It’s a vision that says up to 50 million Americans have to lose their health insurance76 in order for us to reduce the deficit. Who are these 50 million Americans? Many are somebody’s grandparents -- may be one of yours -- who wouldn’t be able to afford nursing home care without Medicaid. Many are poor children. Some are middle-class families who have children with autism or Down’s syndrome. Some of these kids with disabilities are -- the disabilities are so severe that they require 24-hour care. These are the Americans we’d be telling to fend for themselves.77
And worst of all, this is a vision that says even though Americans can’t afford to invest in education at current levels, or clean energy, even though we can’t afford to maintain our commitment on Medicare and Medicaid, we can somehow afford more than $1 trillion in new tax breaks78 for the wealthy. Think about that.
In the last decade, the average income of the bottom 90 percent of all working Americans actually declined. Meanwhile, the top 1 percent saw their income rise by an average of more than a quarter of a million dollars each. That’s who needs to pay less taxes?79
They want to give people like me a $200,000 tax cut that’s paid for by asking 33 seniors each to pay $6,000 more in health costs. That’s not right. And it’s not going to happen as long as I’m President. (Applause.)
This vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact80 in America. Ronald Reagan’s own budget director said, there’s nothing “serious” or “courageous” about this plan. There’s nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending81 a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. And I don't think there’s anything courageous about asking for sacrifice82 from those who can least afford it and don’t have any clout on Capitol Hill. That's not a vision of the America I know.
The America I know is generous and compassionate83. It’s a land of opportunity84 and optimism85. Yes, we take responsibility for ourselves, but we also take responsibility for each other86; for the country we want and the future that we share. We’re a nation that built a railroad across a continent and brought light to communities shrouded in darkness. We sent a generation to college on the GI Bill and we saved millions of seniors from poverty with Social Security and Medicare87. We have led the world in scientific research and technological breakthroughs88that have transformed millions of lives. That’s who we are. This is the America that I know. We don’t have to choose between a future of spiraling debt and one where we forfeit our investment in our people and our country89.
To meet our fiscal challenge, we will need to make reforms90. We will all need to make sacrifices91. But we do not have to sacrifice the America we believe in92. And as long as I’m President, we won’t.93
So today, I’m proposing a more balanced approach to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction over 12 years. It’s an approach that borrows from the recommendations of the bipartisan Fiscal Commission that I appointed last year, and it builds on the roughly $1 trillion in deficit reduction I already proposed in my 2012 budget. It’s an approach that puts every kind of spending on the table94 -- but one that protects the middle class95, our promise to seniors96, and our investments in the future97.
The first step in our approach is to keep annual domestic spending low98 by building on the savings that both parties agreed to last week99. That step alone will save us about $750 billion over 12 years. We will make the tough cuts necessary to achieve these savings, including in programs that I care deeply about, but I will not sacrifice the core investments that we need to grow and create jobs100. We will invest in medical research101. We will invest in clean energy technology102. We will invest in new roads and airports and broadband access103. We will invest in education104. We will invest in job training.105 We will do what we need to do to compete, and we will win the future.
The second step in our approach is to find additional savings in our defense budget. Now, as Commander-in-Chief, I have no greater responsibility than protecting our national security, and I will never accept cuts that compromise our ability to defend our homeland or America’s interests around the world. But as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mullen, has said, the greatest long-term threat to America’s national security is America’s debt106. So just as we must find more savings in domestic programs, we must do the same in defense. And we can do that while still keeping ourselves safe.107
Over the last two years, Secretary Bob Gates has courageously taken on wasteful spending, saving $400 billion in current and future spending. I believe we can do that again. We need to not only eliminate waste and improve efficiency and effectiveness, but we’re going to have to conduct a fundamental review of America’s missions, capabilities, and our role in a changing world108. I intend to work with Secretary Gates and the Joint Chiefs on this review, and I will make specific decisions about spending after it’s complete.
The third step in our approach is to further reduce health care spending in our budget109. Now, here, the difference with the House Republican plan could not be clearer. Their plan essentially lowers the government’s health care bills110 by asking seniors and poor families to pay them instead. Our approach lowers the government’s health care bills by reducing the cost of health care itself111.
Already, the reforms we passed in the health care law will reduce our deficit by $1 trillion. My approach would build on these reforms. We will reduce wasteful subsidies and erroneous payments. We will cut spending on prescription drugs by using Medicare’s purchasing power to drive greater efficiency and speed generic brands of medicine onto the market112. We will work with governors of both parties to demand more efficiency and accountability from Medicaid.113
We will change the way we pay for health care -– not by the procedure or the number of days spent in a hospital, but with new incentives for doctors and hospitals to prevent injuries and improve results114. And we will slow the growth of Medicare costs by strengthening an independent commission of doctors, nurses, medical experts and consumers who will look at all the evidence and recommend the best ways to reduce unnecessary spending while protecting access to the services that seniors need. 115
Now, we believe the reforms we’ve proposed to strengthen Medicare and Medicaid will enable us to keep these commitments to our citizens while saving us $500 billion by 2023, and an additional $1 trillion in the decade after that. But if we’re wrong, and Medicare costs rise faster than we expect, then this approach will give the independent commission the authority to make additional savings by further improving Medicare.116
But let me be absolutely clear: I will preserve these health care programs as a promise we make to each other in this society. I will not allow Medicare to become a voucher program that leaves seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry, with a shrinking benefit to pay for rising costs. I will not tell families with children who have disabilities that they have to fend for themselves. We will reform these programs, but we will not abandon the fundamental commitment this country has kept for generations.
That includes, by the way, our commitment to Social Security. While Social Security is not the cause of our deficit, it faces real long-term challenges in a country that’s growing older. As I said in the State of the Union, both parties should work together now to strengthen Social Security for future generations. But we have to do it without putting at risk current retirees, or the most vulnerable, or people with disabilities; without slashing benefits for future generations; and without subjecting Americans’ guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market. And it can be done.117
The fourth step in our approach is to reduce spending in the tax code, so-called tax expenditures118. In December, I agreed to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans119 because it was the only way I could prevent a tax hike on middle-class Americans120. But we cannot afford $1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our society. We can’t afford it. And I refuse to renew them again. 121
Beyond that, the tax code is also loaded up with spending on things like itemized deductions122. And while I agree with the goals of many of these deductions, from homeownership to charitable giving, we can’t ignore the fact that they provide millionaires an average tax break of $75,000 but do nothing for the typical middle-class family that doesn’t itemize123. So my budget calls for limiting itemized deductions for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans -- a reform124 that would reduce the deficit by $320 billion over 10 years.
But to reduce the deficit, I believe we should go further. And that’s why I’m calling on Congress to reform our individual tax code so that it is fair and simple -- so that the amount of taxes you pay isn’t determined by what kind of accountant you can afford.125
I believe reform should protect the middle class, promote economic growth, and build on the fiscal commission’s model of reducing tax expenditures so that there’s enough savings to both lower rates and lower the deficit. And as I called for in the State of the Union, we should reform our corporate tax code as well, to make our businesses and our economy more competitive. 126
So this is my approach to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 12 years. It’s an approach that achieves about $2 trillion in spending cuts across the budget. It will lower our interest payments on the debt by $1 trillion. It calls for tax reform to cut about $1 trillion in tax expenditures -- spending in the tax code. And it achieves these goals while protecting the middle class, protecting our commitment to seniors, and protecting our investments in the future.
Now, in the coming years, if the recovery speeds up and our economy grows faster than our current projections, we can make even greater progress than I’ve pledged here. But just to hold Washington -- and to hold me --- accountable and make sure that the debt burden continues to decline, my plan includes a debt failsafe. If, by 2014, our debt is not projected to fall as a share of the economy -– if we haven’t hit our targets, if Congress has failed to act -– then my plan will require us to come together and make up the additional savings with more spending cuts and more spending reductions in the tax code.127 That should be an incentive for us to act boldly now, instead of kicking our problems further down the road.
So this is our vision for America -– this is my vision for America -- a vision where we live within our means while still investing in our future;128 where everyone makes sacrifices129 but no one bears all the burden; where we provide a basic measure of security for our citizens and we provide rising opportunity for our children.130
There will be those who vigorously disagree with my approach. I can guarantee that as well. (Laughter.) Some will argue we should not even consider ever -- ever -- raising taxes, even if only on the wealthiest Americans. It’s just an article of faith to them. I say that at a time when the tax burden on the wealthy is at its lowest level in half a century, the most fortunate among us can afford to pay a little more. I don’t need another tax cut.131 Warren Buffett doesn’t need another tax cut. Not if we have to pay for it by making seniors pay more for Medicare. Or by cutting kids from Head Start. Or by taking away college scholarships that I wouldn’t be here without and that some of you would not be here without.
And here’s the thing: I believe that most wealthy Americans would agree with me. They want to give back132 to their country, a country that’s done so much for them. It’s just Washington hasn’t asked them to.
Others will say that we shouldn’t even talk about cutting spending until the economy is fully recovered. These are mostly folks in my party. I’m sympathetic to this view -- which is one of the reasons I supported the payroll tax cuts we passed in December. It’s also why we have to use a scalpel and not a machete to reduce the deficit, so that we can keep making the investments that create jobs. But doing nothing on the deficit is just not an option. Our debt has grown so large that we could do real damage to the economy if we don’t begin a process now to get our fiscal house in order.
Finally, there are those who believe we shouldn’t make any reforms to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security, out of fear that any talk of change to these programs will immediately usher in the sort of steps that the House Republicans have proposed. And I understand those fears. But I guarantee that if we don’t make any changes at all, we won’t be able to keep our commitment to a retiring generation that will live longer and will face higher health care costs than those who came before.
Indeed, to those in my own party, I say that if we truly believe in a progressive vision of our society, we have an obligation to prove that we can afford our commitments. If we believe the government can make a difference in people’s lives, we have the obligation to prove that it works -– by making government smarter, and leaner and more effective.
Of course, there are those who simply say there’s no way we can come together at all and agree on a solution to this challenge. They’ll say the politics of this city are just too broken; the choices are just too hard; the parties are just too far apart. And after a few years on this job, I have some sympathy for this view. (Laughter.)
But I also know that we’ve come together before and met big challenges. Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill came together to save Social Security for future generations. 133 The first President Bush and a Democratic Congress came together to reduce the deficit. 134 President Clinton and a Republican Congress battled each other ferociously, disagreed on just about everything, but they still found a way to balance the budget.135 And in the last few months, both parties have come together to pass historic tax relief and spending cuts.136
And I know there are Republicans and Democrats in Congress who want to see a balanced approach to deficit reduction. And even those Republicans I disagree with most strongly I believe are sincere about wanting to do right by their country. We may disagree on our visions, but I truly believe they want to do the right thing.
So I believe we can, and must, come together again. This morning, I met with Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress to discuss the approach that I laid out today. And in early May, the Vice President will begin regular meetings with leaders in both parties with the aim of reaching a final agreement on a plan to reduce the deficit and get it done by the end of June.
I don’t expect the details in any final agreement to look exactly like the approach I laid out today. This a democracy; that’s not how things work. I’m eager to hear other ideas from all ends of the political spectrum. And though I’m sure the criticism of what I’ve said here today will be fierce in some quarters, and my critique of the House Republican approach has been strong, Americans deserve and will demand that we all make an effort to bridge our differences and find common ground. 137
This larger debate that we’re having -- this larger debate about the size and the role of government -- it has been with us since our founding days. And during moments of great challenge and change, like the one that we’re living through now, the debate gets sharper and it gets more vigorous. That’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a good thing. As a country that prizes both our individual freedom and our obligations to one another, this is one of the most important debates that we can have.
But no matter what we argue, no matter where we stand, we’ve always held certain beliefs as Americans. We believe that in order to preserve our own freedoms and pursue our own happiness, we can’t just think about ourselves. We have to think about the country that made these liberties possible. We have to think about our fellow citizens with whom we share a community. And we have to think about what’s required to preserve the American Dream for future generations.
This sense of responsibility -- to each other and to our country -- this isn’t a partisan feeling. It isn’t a Democratic or a Republican idea. It’s patriotism.
The other day I received a letter from a man in Florida. He started off by telling me he didn’t vote for me and he hasn’t always agreed with me. But even though he’s worried about our economy and the state of our politics -- here’s what he said -- he said, “I still believe. I believe in that great country that my grandfather told me about. I believe that somewhere lost in this quagmire of petty bickering on every news station, the ‘American Dream’ is still alive…We need to use our dollars here rebuilding, refurbishing and restoring all that our ancestors struggled to create138 and maintain… We as a people must do this together, no matter the color of the state one comes from or the side of the aisle one might sit on.”
“I still believe.” I still believe as well. And I know that if we can come together and uphold our responsibilities139 to one another and to this larger enterprise that is America, we will keep the dream of our founding alive -- in our time; and we will pass it on to our children. We will pass on to our children a country that we believe in.Thank you. God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.
This week, I laid out my plan for our fiscal future. It’s a balanced plan that reduces spending and brings down the deficit, putting America back on track toward paying down our debt.
We know why this challenge is so critical. If we don’t act, a rising tide of borrowing will damage our economy, costing us jobs and risking our future prosperity by sticking our children with the bill.
At the same time, we have to take a balanced approach to reducing our deficit – an approach that protects the middle class, our commitments to seniors, and job-creating investments in things like education and clean energy. What’s required is an approach that draws support from both parties, and one that’s based on the values of shared responsibility and shared prosperity.
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.
To restore fiscal responsibility, we all need to share in the sacrifice – but we don’t have to sacrifice the America we believe in.
That’s why I’ve proposed a balanced approach that matches that $4 trillion in deficit reduction. It’s an approach that combs the entire budget for savings, and asks everyone to do their part. And I’ve called on Democrats and Republicans to join me in this effort – to put aside their differences to help America meet this challenge. That’s how we’ve balanced our budget before, and it’s how we’ll succeed again.
We’ll build on the savings we made from last week’s bipartisan budget agreement, while protecting the job-creating investments that are critical to our future.
We’ll find additional savings in our defense budget. Over the last two years, the Secretary of Defense has taken on wasteful spending that does nothing to protect our troops or our nation, saving $400 billion in current and future spending. I believe we can do that again.
We’ll reduce health care spending, and strengthen Medicare and Medicaid through common-sense reforms that will get rid of wasteful subsidies and increase efficiency.
We’ll reduce spending in our tax code with tax reform that’s fair and simple – so that the amount of taxes you pay doesn’t depend on how clever an accountant you can afford. And we should end the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, too. Because people like me don’t need another tax cut.
So that’s my approach to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 12 years while protecting the middle class, keeping our promise to seniors, and securing our investments in our future. I hope you’ll check it out for yourself on WhiteHouse.gov. And while you’re there, you can also find what we’re calling the taxpayer receipt. For the first time ever, there’s a way for you to see exactly how and where your tax dollars are spent, and what’s really at stake in this debate.
Going forward, Democrats and Republicans in Washington will have our differences, some of them strong. But you expect us to bridge those differences. You expect us to work together and get this done. And I believe we can. I believe we can live within our means and live up to the values we share as Americans. And in the weeks to come, I’ll work with anyone who’s willing to get it done.
Thanks for listening. Have a great weekend.
The Republican plan is outlined here: http://www.roadmap.republicans.budget.house.gov/
- We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.I That is general welfare, not individual or class welfare. Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.II What part of specific delegated powers does a Constitutional Lawyer not comprehend?The collective functions are specified in the Constitution. Items not included in that list are not functions of the federal government, they are local or individual.
- The first schools and universities were not public and federal, they were local and private, sponsored by churches. Education is a state function, not a federal function.
- Obama is abusing the language. We are not connected with chains and shackles. We are not intended to be enslaved to & dependent on the federal government. The fact that some functions must necessarily be collective does not imply that all necessities mustbe supplied by the federal government.
- Obama is abusing logic, asserting illogical postulates not supported by the general concept.
- Providing basic necessities, needs, wants & luxuries is not a function of the federal government. It ain't enumerated in the Constitution as a power of the federal government. Government is not a genie, it has no magic wand with which to create everything you want out of nothing. Its function is to create a safe, secure environment in which you can provide for your own needs with your own labor.
- The social safety net is not a federal function, it is a state and local function. The modern welfare state destroyed the black family, created a permanent dependency class, created the urban crime problem and spiked inflation & tax increases which have impoverished the middle class. The current state of widespread unemployment is a consequence of bad public policy: compelling lending institutions to make unsound mortgage loans. The housing bubble, partially expanded by inflation, is also a consequence of bad fiscal practices. The economic disease is iatrogenic, created intentionally by the 'physician' to generate business for himself and the undertaker.
- We do not contribute, we pay taxes. Taxes are extracted by force, at the end of a gun barrel. They go into the general fund, from which Congress allocates amounts foi variouspurposes.
- Social Security & Medicare are unfunded liabilities: Ponzi schemes created for the purpose of buying votes & creating dependency which keeps the dependents voting for their supposed benefactors. They are bankrupting the government. Unemployment insurance might protect one from unexpected job loss, but it can not protect millions from job loss intentionally induced by government policies designed to destroy the economy while enriching the favored few. It increases liabilities while decreasing revenues, this raising the debt & defecit, inflating the dollar and further retarding the economy.
- We are a poorer country because of those commitments. Unfunded liabilities increase inflation & taxes, decreasing real disposable income and investment capital. They are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
- Transfer payments do not define greatness. Greatness entails productivity & prosperity, not poverty & dependency.
- For the last 60 years, your predecessors have been kicking the can down the road. They talked a great deal about funding the unfunded liabilities, but never took effective action. The size of the baby boom generation was known. The date of our retirement eligibility was known. The liability was predictable by actuaries. The Ponzi scheme has matured, there are no new investors and the first layer is demanding their principal and interest.
- "Fairness": define it, please. What is it? How do you measure it?
- Wealth is accumulated material assets, not income. In an agricultural economy, it would be measured in acres of land and head of cattle. If your land is taxed, without income to pay the taxes, you won't be able to retain it; you will eventually be reduced to poverty. Obama engages in class warfare. He is targeting "the wealthy", blaming the crisis on them and implying that the debt & deficit are caused by their not paying enough taxes.
- "Benefited most". Yeah, right, the wealthy got that way by reaping government benefits. Welfare Queens, all of them. In reality, most of them made the right investments and efforts at the right times. They prospered by their own efforts. Creating conditions in which individuals can achieve success and prosper is the role of government. Taking everything they have because it and they succeeded is not. Those with higher incomes pay more in taxes because of the base, imposing a higher rate on them does not define fairness.
- They did not take, they produced; there is nothing to give back, unless they really are Welfare Queens. This is greed seeking an excuse for confiscating what it covets.
- Really? Did they lose nothing in the stock market? Are their houses still worth what they were before the bubble burst? Are their investments paying rents, dividends and appreciating in value? Show us the numbers. Prove it.
- Wise borrowing is for defined emergency needs, not for wasteful spending; not for paying off your political chits. You borrowed hundreds of billions and flushed them down the sewer. All we have to show for it is debt we can't pay and interest payments that wil impoverish generations to come.
- Twenty and thirty year bonds ain't temporary. When you have been rolling over existing debt already, the reality is that those debts are permanent, they will never be paid off.
- But the damned fools elected Nixon, Johnson, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Shrub & Obama. Big promises, tiny accomplishments; ever increasing debt. Promise & spend; get re-elected and spend some more. Base line budgeting and the ever expanding spiral which never ends. More for less forever more. Reagan & Bush could have done better; they knew better, but we gave them RINOS & 'Crats in Congress.
- Sacrifice is a religious term. The people sacrifice and the priestly class feeds on the sacrifices. When politicians use that word, it means tax increases. That translates to decreased real disposable income, inflation and a declining economy that can not create jobs.
- Investment is deferred consumption. Without surplus, investment is impossible. To make investments, one must have wealth or income beyond his current needs. He has to choose between wants and investment. When a farmer reserves some corn to plant for next years crop instead of eating it, that is investment. When he stores some potatoes to plant the next crop instead of eating them, that is investment. If mice eat the corn or the potatoes rot, that is an irrecoverable loss which may lead to starvation. If you eat your seed, you won't have a crop next year. If there is no surplus, there can be no investment without deprivation. You may eat hot dogs instead of hamburger. You may forgo dining out, theaters, concerts and vacations. That investment better pay off. You don't make that kind of investment when the government threatens to confiscate your profits through taxation. You don't make those investments when consumer confidence is low. You don't make them when banks are reluctant to make loans or interest rates are escalating.
- Decreasing tax rates brought about a broadened tax base, which temporarily filled the treasury. But spending cuts did not happen. No real attempt was made to defuse the Social Security bomb. Instead, policies were put in place that resulted in the real estate and stock market bubbles which burst with disastrous consequences.
- No serious commitment to fiscal discipline was ever made. Politicians promise 'benefits', spend and get elected; they will never practice fiscal discipline. "Read my lips: no new taxes." Remember? The Crats promised $1 in spending reduction for each $1 in increased taxes. They reneged.
- We were attacked with the intention of destroying our society. The correct reaction would have been the immediate destruction of the primary aggressors: Afghanistan & Pakistan. Instead of nuking them, we invaded, wasting precious blood and treasure. The war will drag on forever because we fail to recognize the aggressor and exterminate it. The stated strategic objective is an impossibility. The same holds true in Iraq. Suicidal insanity prevails in foreign and defense policy as well as fiscal policy.
- Promise goodies: get elected. Crats wanted socialized medicine, RINOs thought they could sell a cheaper substitute. Common sense never prevails over politics.
- Spending is not something you pay for, it is the payment. Obama continues to abuse the language. Increasing taxes to finance the drug program would reduce economic growth, compounding the problem of decreased real disposable income. In the long run, it would increase the deficit and debt. Common sense dictates not creating new entitlement programs.
- Tax rate cuts are not a purchase to be paid for. Properly done, as part of a sound fiscal policy, they would increase growth, leading to a larger tax base and increased revenues. The economy is not a zero sum game. Money may belong to the government, but the value it represents does not, it belongs to those who created it with their labor and investment. When government confiscates too much of that value, it starves the golden goose. When government decides how much of your production you can keep, it ceases to be a protector and becomes a predator.
- Demagoguery!!! The appeal is to emotion, not rationality. Envy is the selling point; its class warfare. Shrub's tax cuts were across the board, not focused on the higher income brackets. Without real disposable income, surplus to immediate needs, there can be no investment. Poor people to not create jobs and hire workers. High tax rates reduce investment capital.
- Shrub's tax rate cuts did not force borrowing. Crat's reckless spending did. They spent the increased revenue and then some.
- Tax rate cuts broadened the tax base, bringing in more revenue. The drug program was not a valid government function. TARP, Stimulus & Son of Stimulus expanded the debt beyond all hope of repayment.
- You dug the hole deeper.
- You did nothing to put entitlement programs on a sound footing. It is your party that kept buying votes with increased benefits without providing for financing. The problem was well known 40 years ago.
- "Never let a good crisis go to waste."
- You saved few jobs except those of a few union bosses. You did not create any real jobs. You simply threw borrowed money down the sewer where your rats scavenged it.
- Credit is not flowing. Banks are reluctant to lend because of uncertainty and other factors.
- How did you "pay for" those few dollars? Did you give us enough to compensate for the increased price of fuel and food caused by your policies?
- Your policies, and Shrub's. added to permanent deficits that will never be repaid because we won't be able to pay the interest, Hell with the principal.
- The economy is moribund, it ain't recovering.
- There was no fiscal responsibility in Slick Willy's administrations, they kicked the can down the road.
- Government has no means of its own, it has only what it confiscates from us. It must learn to live within our means, not impoverishing us with exorbitant tax rates & inflation.
- We can not reduce the deficit by spending more. We must spend less; cut back existing programs and refrain from creating new money wasting programs. We need genuine economic growth to expand the tax base, applying the increased revenues to deficit and debt reduction instead of wasting it.
- That requires a surplus: revenues greater than the sum of current spending and interest on the new debt. That requires a combination of economic growth and spending restraint. No new "investments".
- There is no recovery to protect. It is a lie, and everybody knows it.
- When you debase the language, you render rational thought impossible. Spending is not investment. New government programs will destroy the economy, not build it up. We need to quit wasting money, throwing good after bad. Buy dear; sell cheap is not sound investment policy.
- Government creates government jobs, not real jobs in the private sector. The taxes used to finance those government jobs are subtracted from real disposable income which could be invested to create real jobs.
- What a stupid slogan! The future is not a contest to be won. Utopia is not waiting on the next calendar. We need to win the war against Islam, which seeks to destroy our society and enslave us. We need to deter others who would wage war against us if they detect weakness and lack of resolve. We need to restore the economy to a state of health and growth. Idiotic slogans do not advance those causes. Wasting money and raising more taxes to waste is counterproductive.
- There is nothing to pay the debt with. We are going bankrupt. Spending must be cut and revenue increased. If revenue is increased by any means other than increasing the tax base through growth, growth will be reduced, and the economy sent into another great depression. Your dreams are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
- Affordability is a function of price and real disposable income. Crash programs increase price and decrease income.
- Schools are a local issue. They are funded with property taxes. Reducing property values through the bursting of the housing bubble and rising foreclosures due to lost jobs & increasing interest rates exacerbate the problem. Taxing us to death is not the solution, it is part of the problem.
- Research is not a government function. Did the federal government finance Henry Ford, the Wright Brothers and Thomas Edison? DARPA aside, research is a private function.
- Road construction and repair is supposed to be financed by fuel taxes. Jobs are created by employers who perceive profit potential to be greater than loss potential. Increased costs such as health benefits and taxes reduce job creation. Your policies are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
- It is obvious that we can't pay back our debts, which is why we keep rolling over bond issues. How stupid do you think we are?? Do you think the sovereign fund managers are stupid, too?? Interest rates will rise as a result. Demand for food and fuel and reduced supply due to your idiotic policies are pushing up prices. That is inflation. The Fed likes to fight inflation by increasing interest rates. Get a clue, idiot!
- Everything that reduces incomes and increases costs makes life more difficult for everybody. The time to think about the consequences was before borrowing & wasting the money. You did something stupid; now you blame others for your incompetence & malfeasance.
- The debt & deficit are not members of the set of soluble solutions. There is no magic wand; no quick fix. Confiscating everything "the wealthy" have would not be sufficient.
- Repeating the big lie might make a few fools believe it, but won't convert it to truth.
- The deficit is caused by power drunk politicians spending beyond our means. "Cost of living adjustments" are part of the problem, not part of the solution. Everything that contributes to inflation makes the problem worse.
- "More for less; forever more" is an impossibility, an empty promise that can not be fulfilled. When people can't pay their mortgages and property taxes, increasing their income taxes will add to, not subtract from their misery.
- Vote buying. "If elected... I promise to..." & "bring home the bacon" are the problem, not the solution.
- "Fraud, waste and abuse" can't be eliminated until we eliminate the corrupt politicians, starting with you, continuing with the RINOs & Crats in the Senate, Nov. 6, 2012.
- Most foreign aid goes to nations inimical to us and ends up in the Swiss accounts of corrupt dictators. Reducing it is not sufficient, but it is necessary.
- Why lump defense in with entitlements? If you are going to break down the budget, do it honestly. Give us the real numbers. Why in Hell did you fire more than 100 missiles into Libya at $500,000 each??? Why are we getting involved in a war between two groups of Muslims, both inimical to us? No matter which side wins, we lose. You want to cut defense spending at a time when our men are over-extended fighting on two fronts at once, with suicidal rules of engagement and strategic objectives which guarantee defeat. Your policy exemplifies suicidal insanity.
- EPA wants to impose "carbon credits", a system that will more than double utility rates. That is an artificial inflation that will make life impossible for many. Government spending and programs are the problem, not the solution.
- Lilly gilding and waste must be eliminated. We need to learn to live within our means. TARP & Stimulus demonstrate the incompetence of the current President and Congress. We must replace all of them.
- Vision, my ass! It has to do with replacing demagogues & corrupt leeches with honest, competent leaders. There is no short term solution, and a long term solution must exclude speeding down the same wrong track we are on now.
- I prefer the founder's vision of America to Obamination's meld of Marxism & Islam. As a visionary, Obamination is worse than blind.
- Snake excrement!!! Energy is neither clean nor dirty. Energy performs useful work. Burning coal with the old technology produces smog. Burning any hydrocarbon produces water vapor. CO2 &CO. But hydrocarbon fuels have the highest energy density and are the most abundant. We can't build dams because it might harm the salmon. We can't build windmills because they are noisy and unsightly. We can't build nuclear power plants because of irrational fear. There are no realistic alternatives and there never will be. We desperately need to increase domestic exploration, production & refining, reducing dependence on unreliable foreign sources whose owners hate us. If Clinton had not vetoed drilling in ANWAR, that resource would be available now.
- What benefit is there from the Department of Education? Where is it in the Constitution anyway?
- What is your alternative? Perhaps you could get rid of the union goons to make rail transport profitable again.
- We can't afford the Socialist Utopia you dream of. Welcome to the real world.
- Why do we have gasoline taxes to finance a highway fund? Why have the gas taxes been treated as general revenue instead of being reserved for their intended purpose? Why do road and bridge projects have "prevailing wage" restrictions imposed to exclude non-union contractors? Costs increase when competitive bidding is excluded.
- Education is not a function of more money, it is a function of student attitude, ability and participation. Asian students tend to excel in American schools, too. Why is that?
- Biofuels are starving people in Africa and raising the cost of food in America. Why are you "investing" $2Billion of our tax money in Brazil's oil industry while shutting down our own????
- It is nearly impossible to discuss the extreme arrogance & condescension exemplified by that sentence without profanity and obscenity. We are about $14Trillion in debt and the demagogue blathers about affording his Socialist nightmare. We can't even afford the interest!!
- The revenues dedicated to Social Security 7 Medicare were never sufficient to fund those programs in perpetuity and everybody knew it. Actuaries were well aware of the matter 40 years ago, but our politicians were and are too dishonest to do anything about it. Yes, I turn 65 this summer.
- Obama Don't Care says" "take two Aspirin and drop dead already". Thank you very much.
- "If you like your doctor..." & "if you like your insurance policy"... "you can keep them ". Yeah, right. We're going to keep them after they are put out of business by Obama Don't Care. And, of course, there ain't any "death panels".
- Exactly what cuts did Congressman Ryan propose to Medicare/Medicaid? This sounds like the standard Crat playbook: "Republicans... killing children and making Granny eat cat food".
- I have not seen the details of Ryan's proposed budget. The top 20 SERPS were all polemics, those I checked did not include details. Are there any new tax cuts? Extending Shrub's tax cuts, which Crats saddled with a sunset clause, is not a tax cut. Cutting tax rates would increase real disposable income available for investment. That would increase jobs & economic growth, stimulate recovery, and ultimately increase the tax base.
- Those whose taxable income declined will pay less income tax. Those whose taxable income increased will pay more. Class warfare & punishing success are part of the problem, not part of the solution. This is a campaign speech, not an act of leadership.
- We have a Constitution, not a social compact. Obama is trying to confuse the audience postulating an unstated false premise that we are obligated to install and expand Socialism.
- The same tired, worn out straw man argument: "tax cuts for the rich". Government will waste every cent it can get its hands on. Lets keep some money where it will be invested productively. That is the way to foster economic growth.
- Pure polemics: class warfare. Reductions in the growth trend of federal programs does not equate to demanding sacrifices from the poor.
- Generosity & compassion are individual traits, not attributes of government. Be generous and compassionate with your own bank account if you feel a need to spread the wealth.
- "Land of opportunity" means where government does not erect artificial barriers to success. It means the absence of class structure that keeps you down, never letting you rise.
- I was not optimistic in '08, I am more pessimistic now, and I will have no hope whatsoever if the anus is re-elected next year. There is no optimism when the President deliberately sets out to destroy major industries, punish success and impose artificial inflation in energy costs.
- Responsibility for each other? The country we want?? The future we share??? Exactly what do those phrases mean? They are amorphous, they have no definitive meaning, just like his original campaign speeches in '08. He lets you project your dreams onto a blank screen. Like the joke has Lincoln saying, he should "go see a play".
- On whose initiative; with whose funds was the transcontinental railroad built? What put the railroads out of business? On whose initiative and with whose funds were power plants and the transmission grid constructed? Who wants to double utility prices with imbecilic policies like cap and trade? How many seniors were saved from poverty by Social Security? What is the minimum Social Security benefit?
- Who did the basic and applied research? Who funded it? Was George W. Carver subsidized by the government? Was Thomas Edison government funded? Did the government fund Alexander Bell's research? Was Tesla working for the government?
- The damned fools chose a future of spiraling debt when they voted for you and a 'Crat controlled Congress. The choice was made, it is permanent; irreversible.
- "Reforms": another undefined, ambiguous, amorphous expression signifying nothing.
- "Sacrifices": code word for tax increases. Remember, "those making less than $250,000. will not see a dime in increased taxes"? Now its "we'll all make sacrifices". Yeah, right.
- "The America we believe in": code phrase for Socialist Utopia. The first thing that should be sacrificed.
- The shorter your term, the better!
- Its all sacrosanct, he will not make any genuine cuts.
- The class warfare card comes to the top of the deck again.
- Social Security and Medicare are unfunded liabilities. They can not be funded without massive tax increases.
- "Investments in the future": code phrase for flushing more borrowed money we can't pay back.
- You can't keep what you don't have. Domestic spending is not low!
- A drop in the ocean. Insignificant in the face of our mounting national debt.
- We need real, productive jobs, not government jobs, digging holes and filling them in. If you want to create job s, hire someone to do something which has market value, producing something you can sell at a profit. Government can't do that, so it should get out of the way and permit those who can to do it.
- Basic medical research will not yield many new jobs. Leave it to universities and drug companies.
- We might as well invest in pixie dust. Alternate/clean energy sources are mythological. No such thing exists, nor will it. That shibboleth is nothing more than an excuse for impoverishing us through artificially inflated utility bills and taxes.
- Where are new federal highways needed? What happened to the Highway Trust Fund? Airports: aren't they a local function? Perhaps we should invest in hiring more Air Traffic Controllers and establishing schedules that will allow them to stay awake on the job. Broadband access: there is a competitive market already; why interfere with it?
- Education does not need money, it needs students instead of pupils, and it needs to get rid of compulsory unionism & collective extortion.
- Job training does not create jobs. Those recently trained have not found work.
- What can you eliminate from the military budget without reducing capability? Will you reduce pay and benefits? Will you scrimp on maintenance? How old is our fleet of mid air refueling tankers? Does our fleet of long range bombers need replacement?
- Are we really safe now? If China invades Taiwan, how will you respond? If North Korea attacks the south, who will you send to help?
- Did you say something about waste, fraud and abuse earlier in the speech? Did you say those savings would not be sufficient? Yeah, right.
- Whose health care do you cut? Who do you tell to go home and croak?? Do you screw over the providers again, forcing them out of business? Fewer doctors, clinics and hospitals: a great way to save money. Longer waiting times, decreased service. Improved health care for less. Yeah, right.
- Whose bills are they? Who got the service'; who gets the bill?
- Everyone's expense is someone else's income. Whose income do you cut next? How many Medicare providers will you force out of business? Where will their patients turn next when they are ill or injured? Is the Emergency Room really a cheaper health care delivery option?
- Speed generic medicines to market. Of cuss you will. Generic Colchicine was available for $.09 per tablet. I generally used two per day. Since last September, it is $4.85 per tablet. I can't get it any more. Your FDA gave the drug company a sweet heart deal, taking the generic form off the market. Thank you, Mr. President. I will remember you in my prayers.
- Efficiency and accountability; translation: more paperwork, higher costs. No net benefit.
- How many injuries occur in doctor's offices and hospitals? Exactly how will they prevent injuries which occur off premises? Is there anything doctors can do differently that will prevent patients from becoming ill or injured and save money in the process? Will you be passing out magic wands?
- What spending is unnecessary? Why is Medicare wasting money?? How much is it wasting?
- Tell us again exactly how you will improve Medicare? If improvement is possible, why not do it immediately instead of waiting for a crisis?
- What is the average monthly stipend? How many recipients are there? How many will be signing up each year? How much is generated in OASDI taxes? And you will close that gap; how exactly???
- "Tax expenditures"? Do you mean refundable tax credits such as the Earned Income and Child Care credits? No, you mean "tax cuts for the wealthy".
- As I recall, your initial plan was to let all the tax cuts sunset, including "middle class" tax cuts. You only got religion when you started smelling sulfur fumes.
- You are rich, you don't give a damn about the middle class, except for their votes. And you don't need that tax cut, so why don't you write a check to give it back, retroactively? The Treasury needs it more than you do; to invest in the future, of course.
- Every millionaire & billionaire is getting $1Trillion in tax cuts? How many millionaires & billionaires are there? How big was that tax cut??
- Now itemized deductions are "tax expenditures"? Such as the home mortgage deduction. How many people included anticipated tax deductions in calculating the mortgage they could afford? Now you will pull that rug out from under them; will they suffer foreclosure as a result?
- Middle class taxpayers can't deduct medical expenses and mortgage interest because you Crats upped the thresholds, disqualifying them. They can't deduct credit card interest because you eliminate that deduction.
- Screw over some rich folk, remove $32Billion a year from the economy, money that could be invested in job creating enterprises. Great idea.
- Fair can't be defined or measured. Simple is not a term applicable to laws, rules & regulations. What was it you promised again??
- Reduce "tax expenditures", reduce rates and pay down the deficit; all in one sentence. Glib and truthless, a great combination.
- If you can't do it now, you won't be able to do it three years from now. Human nature won't improve in that timespan; the economy won't either.
- Neither. You won't live within our means and you won't invest in the future. Your own exorbitant travel and luxury expenditures make that clear. What you call investment, we recognize as money flushing.
- What are you going to sacrifice? Trips to luxury resorts in Spain? What was that promise again? What happened to G.H.W. Bush when he broke his promise?
- Opportunity? Do you mean jobs and job security? Affordable housing and transportation? Affordable food and utilities? Yeah, right; higher taxes on top of inflation & unemployment. As in Carter's Misery Index.
- So, give it back; write a check. You are not earning your salary, you could rebate that, too.
- Give back? Was their income given to them or did they work for it?
- Ron & Tip did a great job of saving Social Security, didn't they. Yeah, right.
- Bush kept his part of the deal. the Crats did not. He deserved to be a one term president, so do you.
- Its called economic growth; you should try it.
- And you just wasted the best part of an hour deceiving us about those tax cuts and spending reductions.
- There is no common ground between polar opposites.
- Our ancestors created a representative republic. You are tearing it down; erecting a Communist slave state.
- Upholding responsibilities? You might start with your oath of office.