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by Tejinder Singh
Washington, DC, United States
President Barack Obama on Monday announced his recommendations to lawmakers for fiscal moves to enhance revenue flow into the government coffers while reducing the deficit.
Addressing a select audience of around 200 along with journalists on the outer circle in Rose Garden, Obama exhibited the passion and language of a political campaign, lambasting his opposition as he outlined his initial submission to the deficit reduction bipartisan Super Committee with ambitious plans to cut trillions from the national debt, with nearly half of the reductions from tax increases.
Obama described his proposals as a "plan that reduces our debt by more than $4 trillion, and achieves these savings in a way that is fair -- by asking everybody to do their part so that no one has to bear too much of the burden on their own."
"All I'm saying is that those who have done well, including me, should pay their fair share in taxes," Obama said, cautioning lawmakers that he would veto any legislation "that puts all the burden on closing the deficit on ordinary Americans."
Obama went down the Bush-era memory lane, saying, "During this past decade, profligate spending in Washington, tax cuts for multi-millionaires and billionaires, the cost of two wars, and the recession turned a record surplus into a yawning deficit, and that left us with a big pile of IOUs."
Reacting to Republicans' weekend comments calling his proposals "class warfare," Obama said, "This is not class warfare. It's math."
On Sunday, Republican Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee and a strong advocate of deep cuts but no tax rises, labeled Obama's plans as "class warfare."
Amid laughter in the Rose Garden Monday, the president added, "The money is going to have to come from some place. And if we're not willing to ask those who've done extraordinarily well to help America close the deficit and we are trying to reach that same target of $4 trillion, then the logic, the math says everybody else has to do a whole lot more: We've got to put the entire burden on the middle class and the poor. We've got to scale back on the investments that have always helped our economy grow. We've got to settle for second-rate roads and second-rate bridges and second-rate airports, and schools that are crumbling."
In his plan outlining the tax increases to get more money into American coffers, Obama called upon the wealthy and corporations to pay their "fair share" to cut the deficit. "Middle-class families shouldn't pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires," he said. "It's hard to argue against that."
Obama's proposal, now termed the "Buffett rule," would make Americans who earn more than $1 million pay the same rate of tax as those who earn less. The proposal got its name from billionaire financier Warren Buffett, who recently said that he and his wealthy peers pay relatively less tax than the people who work for them by benefiting from tax loopholes that see earnings on investment taxed at lower rates than wages.
Among other proposals, some $250 billion of spending on Medicare - the healthcare program for the elderly would be cut. There is a condition: Obama would veto any bill from the lawmakers on the subject if it did not include new taxes on the rich.
The latest Rose Garden address is part of a series of proposals being churned out by the White House to streamline efforts to do deficit reduction and inject health into a sluggish American economy reeling under high employment rates and rising poverty levels.
Obama Vows to Do Away with Millionaire Tax Cuts and Reduce Deficit | Politics