Obama: 'This Is Not Class Warfare - It's Math' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Obama: 'This Is Not Class Warfare - It's Math'

KHQ.COM - President Barack Obama, setting up another clash with Republicans, has proposed $1.5 trillion in new taxes aimed primarily at the wealthy as part of a deficit reduction plan.

The president pitched his plan Monday morning from the Rose Garden at the White House.

"Today, I'm releasing a plan which details how to pay for the jobs bill, while also paying down our debt over time," said Obama about his recently-released plan to ease the nation's unhealthy unemployment rate.

"Washington has to live within its means," continued the president. "For us to solve this problem everybody ... has to pay their fair share."

Obama added, "I'm proposing real cuts to spending. These would be among the biggest cuts in our history ... This plan eliminates tax loopholes that primarily go to the largest corporations."

"We can't afford these special lower rates for the wealthy — rates, by the way, that were meant to be temporary."

Challenged Obama, "Nobody wants to punish success in America ... those who have done well, including me, should pay our fair share ... we shouldn't get a better deal than ordinary families get."

Responding to a common complaint from Republicans, he said, "This is not class warfare, it's math."

Obama's proposal has little chance of passing Congress, where Republicans control the House of Representatives. Republicans staunchly oppose any tax increases and want greater spending cuts to reduce America's debt.

Obama's goal is try to influence a special joint committee of Congress that is charged by the end of November with coming up with deficit reductions of up to $1.5 trillion over 10 years. He wants lawmakers to aim even bigger.

The populist pitch could offer political benefits ahead of next year's elections. The plan could appeal to Americans, many of whom believe the deficit can't be reduced by spending cuts alone, according to some polls. It could also energize Obama's fellow Democrats, who have been clamoring for the president to take a tougher stance against Republicans.

The core of the president's plan totals just more than $2 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years. It combines the new taxes with $580 billion in cuts to mandatory benefit programs, including $248 billion from Medicare, the health insurance program for the elderly.

The administration also counts savings of $1 trillion over 10 years from the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama said Monday he would veto any Medicare benefit cuts that aren't paired with tax increases on upper-income people. >>>CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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