Plouffe: Don’t play ‘political chicken’
April 10th, 2011
09:01 AM ET
4 years ago

Plouffe: Don’t play ‘political chicken’

Washington (CNN) - The president will lay out his plan for long-term deficit reduction Wednesday, White House senior adviser David Plouffe told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley Sunday.

“He's going to lay out his approach very clearly,” Plouffe said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “He's going to be clear about the types of deficit reduction we need in terms of dollar amounts over what period of years.”


Without getting “ahead of the president,” Plouffe said the President Obama will look at savings in Medicaid and Medicare, which he said is a “huge driver of costs.”

“How do we really preserve the program (Medicare),” Plouffe said. “How do we squeeze every dollar out of inefficiencies without putting all the burden on seniors, so yes, we are going to have to have more health care cost savings in this country, there's no question it's a huge driver of costs.”

Although he said the president does not believe social security is a contributor to the short-term deficit problem, he will “look at if there’s a way to strengthen social security for the long-term that doesn’t endanger anybody who’s a current beneficiary.”

“Defense spending, domestic spending, revenues are going to have to be part of this,” Plouffe added.

As discussions in Washington turn to the debt ceiling, the president’s former 2008 campaign manager said “we should not play brinksmanship with the full faith and credit of the United States.”

While some Republican members of Congress have suggested a balanced budget amendment to the constitution accompany a vote to increase the debt limit, Plouffe said “we shouldn’t have to amend the constitution to fulfill our responsibility.”

Congress must reach an agreement before the United States reaches its legal borrowing limit of $14.29 trillion.

“We just came together, Democrats and Republicans and it will be passed this week, a deal that has historic amount of annual spending cuts,” Plouffe said. “We clearly need to get on a pathway to deficit reductions so hopefully we'll act responsibly that members of Congress will see that we can reach agreement, but again we shouldn't play political chicken with the economy of this country, it would be irresponsible.”

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. chad

    The first thing that ought to be mentioned is tax increases. We can't have deficit reduction without them (unless we enjoy brutally punishing the working and middle class). Especially now that we're fighting 3 wars – it's the fiscally responsible thing to do. Don't buy into the right wing propaganda that the rich need more and more.

    April 10, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  2. nobody

    One thing is certain, the Obama plan will attempt to place some of the deficit reduction burden on millionaires, billionaires and large corporations. That is fair. The other thing that is certain is the GOP plan will once again shift the burden to the backs of working families, seniors, children, students and the most disadvantaged among us while under the Ryan plan millionaires will receive another $200,000 tax cut.

    April 10, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  3. BK in DC

    Surprise surprise on all the tax and spend democrat comments, not.

    April 10, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  4. Mark

    We have to give the super rich more tax breaks Mr. Obama, corporations need more tax breaks and raise taxes on the middle class.

    April 10, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  5. Independent411

    I do not think Obama is serious about cutting spending, but will wait and see. I do not see him even going as far as the debt commission suggested. I see giving Washington more money in tax increases as a way for them to spend more money on things they find a necessity, but end up as boondoggles. Obama has had a chance to back out of wars, raise taxes and such, but he has proven to be bush-III in almost every action, while speaking out the other side of his mouth. For election purposes I expect this to be one of those times that he simply speaks out he other side of mouth. I hope to be wrong.

    April 10, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  6. chris

    Love the right wing bashing here. You all hated Bush for starting two wars, Gitmo, excessive spending, passing tax cuts to the rich. Lets see the same vitriol for Obama then lefties since he is now in 3 wars, spending even more, kept Gitmo open, and extended the same tax cuts. Any fair minded person that did not like Bush, clearly would dislike Obama more, but your partisan crap, just like on the right, is what is wrong here.

    April 10, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  7. freqflyr

    The plan will be "Expect the next administration to .... based on a fully recovered economy ...."

    April 10, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  8. Anonymous

    I don't consider myself a very political person and normally would not get involved in this debate but after hearing so much about taxing the middle class I feel obligated. I consider myself middle class and make approximately 80k a year. I paid around $3,500 in taxes for last year but received $4,200 back from the government. I don't mind paying my fair share of taxes but something is wrong when I get back more than I paid in to the IRS. No wonder we are going further in debt.

    April 10, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  9. Dan

    I don't consider myself a very political person and normally would not get involved in this debate but after hearing so much about taxing the middle class I feel obligated. I consider myself middle class and make approximately 80k a year. I paid around $3,500 in taxes for last year but received $4,200 back from the government. I don't mind paying my fair share of taxes but something is wrong when I get back more than I paid in to the IRS. No wonder we are going further in debt.

    April 10, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  10. Anonymous

    Obama's ideas about handling the deficit are clear from everything he has ever done. Increase the size of government, increase spending, and raise taxes on the producers in America. By the way, these are the exact cause of the deficit in the first place.

    April 10, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  11. jim

    I've got an idea. Legalize marijuana. Get the tax revenue and tourism dollars. Put Pablo Escobar out of business.

    April 10, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  12. Root and stem

    all obama wants to do is destabilize the u.s. economy and government. the school girl plouffe is just another tool.

    April 10, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  13. Mark

    Vote Odummer out.

    April 10, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  14. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    I have worked hard all my life, from the time I was old enough to work at 16 after school until now. I am tired of people we elect not standing up for the middle class. For those of us that are over 50 but not yet "55" where do these policies leave us? The government tries to "privatize" everything. They did it to our Military..instead of paying our service men and women..they give billions to mercenaries. Now they want to do it to what we have paid into all our lives. I don't know about you but, the market is not the place to put my social security money. My 401K goes up and down every quarter...my Social Security Statement does not....it is STABLE. When are the politicians we elect going to stand up for those that built this country through hard work. We are not the listed on the wall street exchange.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 10, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  15. Johnny DC

    From the administration unwilling to cut an extra $30B into a $1000B+ deficit... wrap your head around that one. The facts don't lie. 30 out of over 1000 was too much to cut. The facts don't lie.

    April 10, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  16. Mike

    I was disappointed that the most recent budget did not cut more. I'm conservative and I think most conservatives realize that increased taxes will be part of the deficit reduction. However, most will be against increased taxes AND increased spending – like Obama will want. If increased taxes went straight to cutting the deficit, thats a pill a lot conservatives could swallow. If the debt is not addressed, soon we will be paying trillion just on the interest on the debt alone. We would be one big Greece – with no jobs and no one willing to invest in us. Not smart for our country. We need to seriously tackle this problem. This is one that actually has a real solution – spend less. Wish other issues were as black and white to fix.

    April 10, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  17. a shame

    obama should resign before he is removed from office....

    April 10, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  18. Jerry

    Democrats want to spend more and tax more...the GOP wants to spend less and tax less....I say spend less and tax more...for now. Is that so hard.

    April 10, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  19. Garrison Foote

    We need reforme. We need as people to start standing on our own two feet that god gave us. This country was founded on the backs of hard working people. When the government looks at the nation as a number on a sheet of paper and dosent come down to the peoples level, and realizes the pain this country is actullay going through. Why start a war then go on vacaiton? We used to have genrals running this country,

    April 10, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  20. Anonymous

    more taxes are inevitable but let it start at the the top and trickle down..everyone is going to have to pay their share but let it be done fairly. Its going to hurt but let the pain be spread fairly

    April 10, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  21. wondering

    The budget process is a good view of how the democratic process eats intself up from within. Since those who are financially illiterate grow in numbers and have the same voting power as the financially literate, as the noncontributing class grows in numbers requiring the smaller class to contribute more, budgets will be based not on sound financial and econmic standing but on winning elections and preventing internal aggression.

    For all the call to spend more on education to compete internationally-I would suggest each and every high school student be required to take courses in finanacies and economics. A greater literacy rate among our citizens will empower people to grow their wealth rather than to be victims of the wealth of others and allow us to have a rational and educated discussion concerning setting a national budget.

    This is an educational issue and one I do not hear any teacher or politician or educator discussing and it is basic and vital to our nations well being.

    April 10, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  22. willie floyd

    I think it is crucial that the pres.' positions are supported by all of his supporters, whether or not we always agree with him. If we didn't learn the importance of compromise this week, we'll be lost. Personally I know he is far more intelligent than I will ever be, so I will support him no matter what. His intelligence and his dedication to education were 2 of the things that led to my decision to support him.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    April 10, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  23. Jake

    What a JOKE Obama is!!! He is now preening as a deficit hawk.... ha, ha, ha... it is Obama's spendthrift ways which have caused the explosion in the deficit. The last budget Obama sent to the hill was an INCREASE!!! Only a fool would put his trust in Obama.

    April 10, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  24. Tired

    This budget should have been passed back before October 1st 2010, when the Democrats had control of everything, but it was easier to wait for political gain.

    I am glad that we are finally starting to see some leadership on this issue. Both parties are to blame. Both Republican and Democrat congresses have deficit spent.

    We probably will have to raise taxes on everyone a little bit; 47% of all US households do not pay any federal income taxes and some even make a profit. This is not sustainable. There are too many loopholes and credits for corporations and households to play a game finding how much they can deduct.

    The other thing we will have to look at is cutting spending and perhaps thinking outside the box like ending or reducing the 'war on drugs' which expensively incarcerates a lot of non-violent drug users. We also must cut total waste like the Murtha Airport, which literally averages 19 passengers a day and yet has received 200 million dollars from the federal government including $800,000 from the stimulus to increase their runway size.

    April 10, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  25. efab

    ... everybody has an opinion about what he or she would do, but no one wants to come out of their own pockets... Let's be practicle ladies & gents at the end of the day you get rid of negatives by adding positives... Simple math!!!

    April 10, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
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