Obama announces debt plan built on taxes to rich; GOP derides it
WASHINGTON - Saying "We can't just cut our way out of this hole," President Barack Obama is calling for $1.5 trillion in new taxes as part of a 10-year deficit reduction package totaling more than $3 trillion.
Speaking in the White House Rose Garden this morning, Obama said, "It's only right we ask everyone to pay their fair share," and vowed to veto any deficit reduction package that cuts benefits to Medicare recipients but does not raise new revenues.
The president's proposal would predominantly hit upper income taxpayers but would also reduce spending in mandatory benefit programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, by $580 billion. It also counts savings of $1 trillion over 10 years from the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Republican reaction was swift and negative.
Minutes after the president spoke, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement saying, "Veto threats, a massive tax hike, phantom savings, and punting on entitlement reform is not a recipe for economic or job growth."