Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The President's approach to addressing the nation's budget deficits

In today's speech, President Obama laid out his framework for reducing the country's budget deficits and ensuring that our long-term debts remain manageable. He contrasted his approach with that of the GOP (i.e. Congressman Paul Ryan's plan), which he described this way:
There’s nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. And I don't think there’s anything courageous about asking for sacrifice 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 President spends some time filling in the picture of how we got into our current situation and reminds us how we've dealt with similar problems in the past. And he forcefully states that he will neither allow Medicare to be dismantled on his watch nor sign off on continuing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest one percent of Americans beyond 2012 when they're set to expire.

It was good to hear the President so firmly differentiate his vision for America from that of the Republicans. Now let's just make sure that we actually speak up and let him know that we're not okay with another "robber baron" era (Roger Ebert had a good column on that topic last week (thanks, Sally!)).

The full transcript is here; the speech is about 40 minutes long but worth your time. And here is the New York Times' coverage.

(Video link)

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