Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama entered politically tricky territory Wednesday when he outlined his plan for reducing long-term deficits and the national debt amid a climate of tense budget negotiations in a speech at The George Washington University. Follow the latest developments with below with the Ticker's live blog. Read the full story here.
3:40 p.m. ET - @BarackObama: There’s nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending $1 trillion on tax cuts for millionaires & billionaires.
3:21 p.m. ET - House Speaker John Boehner responded to the president's speech with a statement Wednesday: "Republicans, led by Chairman Ryan, have set the bar with a jobs budget that puts us on a path to paying down the debt and preserves Medicare and Medicaid for the future. This afternoon, I didn’t hear a plan to match it from the President," Boehner said. “He is asking Congress to raise the debt limit to continue paying Washington’s bills. The American people will not stand for that unless it is accompanied by serious action to reduce our deficit. More promises, hollow targets, and Washington commissions simply won’t get the job done."
2:39 p.m. ET - According to a pool report, Republican congressmen Dave Camp, R-Michigan, Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, left G.W. together at same time, asking a policewoman outside for directions to 21st Street.
2:37 p.m. ET – Obama referenced former President Lincoln once, former President George H.W. Bush twice, former President Clinton once, and former President Reagan twice. He did not utter President George W. Bush’s name one time.
2:35 p.m. ET – @LisaDCNN: OBAMA DROPS "RADICAL": A CNN editor noted Obama took out "radical" when describing "the sort of steps" in GOP plan. (35 min into speech)
2:32 p.m. ET - Obama referenced a letter he received from a man from Florida who didn’t vote for him. He said the man told him he still believes the American dream is alive despite the intensity of the debate today. Obama said the man told him the country must use its dollars to rebuild and refurbish the country our ancestors left for us.
2:30 p.m. ET – Obama said the current debate is about the size and role of government. He added that “it's not a bad thing” that debate has gotten more vigorous, but that America has always believed we can’t just think about ourselves but must think about our country and fellow citizens and what is required to pursue American dream for future generations.
2:29 p.m. ET - Obama called on Vice President Joe Biden to begin regular meetings with leaders in both parties of Congress to come to an agreement on a plan to reduce the deficit by the end of June. He said while he doesn’t think the final agreement will look exactly like the approach he pitched today, he is “eager to hear other ideas from all ends of the political spectrum.”
2:28 p.m. ET - Obama said the country has come together before to meet big challenges, citing former President Ronald Reagan and former Democratic House Speaker Tip O'Neill who came together to work on Social Security. He also referenced former President Bill Clinton and former President George H.W. Bush’s work with opposing parties in Congress. Still no specific mention in speech of former President George W. Bush.
2:26 p.m. ET - Obama's message to those who think we shouldn't make any reforms to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security: Then “we wont be able to keep our commitment” to the next generations of retirees, Obama said. And his pitch to progressives in his own party: “We have the obligation to prove that we can afford our commitments.” He said we must make government “smarter, leaner, and more effective.”
2:23 p.m. ET - Obama said there will be those who disagree with his call to raise taxes on the wealthiest of Americans. As he did in the 2008 campaign, he cited his friend billionaire Warren Buffett, who Obama said, “doesn’t need another tax cut.” He added that he believes “most wealthy Americans would agree with me.” He said they want to give back, but “Washington hasn’t asked them to.”
2:20 p.m. ET - Obama said step four of his plan is to reduce spending in the tax code. He said he agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts because it was the only way he “could prevent a tax hike for middle class Americans.” Today he said we can’t afford it. “I refuse to renew them again.”
2:19 p.m. ET - Obama said he will preserve Medicare “as a promise we make” to each other in this society. He said Social Security faces challenges but is not the cause of the deficit, saying we must reform the program without affecting present retirees or "slashing benefits” for future generations.
2:17 p.m. ET - Obama said the third step of the plan is to further reduce health care spending in budget. He said the “difference could not be clearer” between his plan and the Republican plan. Obama said health care reforms already passed from his health care legislation would reduce $1 trillion from the deficit. He said we will change the way we pay for health care with new incentives for doctors and hospitals.
2:16 p.m. ET – Obama said his second step is to find additional savings in the defense budget, and cited comments from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs who said, “the greatest long-term threat to America’s national security is America’s debt.” Obama pledged to conduct a fundamental review of America’s missions, capabilities and role in a changing world.
2:13 p.m. ET - Twenty-five minutes into his speech, Obama addressed his proposal for “a more balanced approach to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction over twelve years.” He said the first step is to keep domestic spending low. “We will make tough cuts” necessary to make these savings, he said, adding that he will invest in new roads, education, job training and clean energy.
2:11 p.m. ET - In the last decade, Obama said the bottom 90 percent of Americans saw a decline while the top Americans saw an increase. Using himself as an example, he said it was not right for him to get a tax increase on the backs of 33 seniors each having to pay more for health costs to finance a tax cut for the wealthy.
2:10 p.m. ET – Obama said Medicare plans floated by the GOP mean Americans would pay $6,400 more if you need healthcare, ending "Medicare as we know it,” Obama said. He claimed 50 million Americans will be without health insurance if the Republican plan goes forward. These Americans, he said, will be left to “fend for themselves.”
2:09 p.m. ET – Obama cited China, South Korea, and Brazil as examples of nations that are investing in the future and said the United States is not.
“We are presented with a vision that says the United States of America – the greatest nation on Earth – can’t afford any of this,“ Obama said.
2:07 p.m. ET – @RepWeiner: why im not president. my version : "the gop plan is a disaster and ill chew my arm off before i sign it"
2:07 p.m. ET - 2012 reference: Obama noted one vision championed by Republicans and “embraced” by several Republican presidential candidates aims to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years, and addresses challenges of Medicare and Medicaid.
“Those are both worthy goals for us to achieve," Obama said. But the way this plan achieves those goals would lead to a fundamentally different America than the one we’ve known throughout most of our history. “
2:05 p.m. ET - Obama said truth is that two thirds of the budget is spent on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Defense. He said clean energy, education, the environment and other programs only account for 12 percent of the budget. Any serious plan will require America to put everything on the table and take on excessive spending, he said.
2:03 p.m. ET - Obama said the good news is that a debt laden country doesn’t have to be our future. He said we can come together, but we need to be honest about the causes of the debt. Obama added that not all government spending is bad.
“Most Americans tend to dislike government spending in the abstract, but they like the stuff that it buys,” he said.
2:02 p.m. ET - Obama claimed by 2025, the amount of taxes we take in will only be enough to pay for health care, Social Security, and the interest we owe on our debt. “That’s it. Every other national priority – education, transportation, even national security – will have to be paid for with borrowed money.”
2:00 p.m. ET - Obama joked Biden is not young, like some of the G.W. students in the crowd.
1:59 p.m. ET - While Obama didn’t name former President George W. Bush by name, he managed to sneak in a reference, saying by the time he took office, the projected deficit was more than $1 trillion.
1:58 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: OBAMA PLAN – Social Security: From WH factsheet: “The president does not believe Social Security is in crisis…” Punt.
1:58 p.m ET – @LisaDCNN: *OBAMA PLAN – Bush Tax Cuts: As he has said in the past, Pres. Obama wants to end the Bush tax cuts for incomes >$250K.
1:58 p.m. ET - Obama said America lost its way after the fiscal discipline of the 1990’s. He said we didn’t pay for new spending of two wars and tax cuts that forced us to borrow an average of $500 billion every year over next decade.
1:57 p.m. ET - Obama referenced former President George H.W. Bush and former President Bill Clinton by name, but not former President George W. Bush. “To meet this challenge, our leaders came together three times during the 1990s to reduce our nation’s deficit. They forged historic agreements that required tough decisions made by the first President Bush and President Clinton; by Democratic Congresses and a Republican Congress….. As a result of these bipartisan efforts, America’s finances were in great shape by the year 2000.”
1:57 p.m. ET - @RepWeiner: Somewhere Joe Wilson is yelling "You Lie!" over and over at his TV. President is doing great setting the debate.
1:55 p.m. ET - White House pool reported that Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Rep. Jeb Hensarling or Texas are seated in the front row next to Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois.
1:55 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: OBAMA PLAN – Medicaid: Listen up, states. Pres.Obama would dump the many Medicaid match formulas now and give states one funding rate.
1:54 p.m. ET - Obama said we recognize that hard times, illness or lost job may strike – “There but for the grace of God go I,” he said, before adding that Medicare and Social Security make the country better.
1:52 p.m. ET - Obama said that "this debate over budgets and deficits is about more than just numbers on a page, more than just cutting and spending. It's about the kind of future we want. It's about the kind of country we believe in."
1:49 p.m. ET - Obama started his serious speech with a joke: “It’s great to be back at G.W. I want you to know that one of the reasons I kept the government open was so I could be here today with all of you. I wanted to make sure you had one more excuse to skip class. You’re welcome.”
1:49 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: WHILE WE WAIT: I'm going thru embargoed text of the speech. I see first mention of Obama's proposal more than 1/2way through. #p2 #tcot
1:44 p.m. ET – Obama's motorcade arrived at G.W.
1:42 p.m. ET - @DanaBashCNN: @SpeakerBoehner suggested to reporters potus said he's open to debt ceiling vote that's not "clean" (w/ conditions) – as repubs want
1:36 p.m. ET – @RepWeiner: Health care for the poor gets paid for one of 2 ways : efficiently or inefficiently. Slashing Medicaid only moves the cost.
1:23 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: OBAMA DEFICIT speech: We expect it to be about 40-45 minutes. So pop the popcorn, pour the glass, now.
1:21 p.m. ET – @franksesno RT @edhenrycnn: At obama speech. Simpson/Bowles here. Word is Prez will take "big bite" of commish recs tho will "lean left" a bit. Stay tuned.
1:21 p.m. ET – @edhenrycnn: President will lay out plan w/ $4 trillion in deficit reduction in 12 yrs or less - speech coming at 130pm ET #devilindetails
1:19 p.m. ET - @RepWeiner: Lets review the bidding : Democrats proposed and created Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. #GOPstillHatesEach
1:15 p.m. ET - @DanLothianCNN: Obama to set a goal of reducing the deficit by $4 trillion in 12 years or less, according to a snr admn.official.
1:14 p.m. ET– Among those expected to attend the speech Wednesday according to a pool report: Vice President Joe Biden, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Director of the Office of Management and Budget Jacob Lew, White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley and Chair of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling.
1:12 p.m. ET - @wolfblitzercnn: Obama wants to cut $4 trillion over 12 years; GOP wants $6 trillion over 10 years. Watch Obama speech 1:30PM ET #CNN
1:04 p.m. ET - Obama will set a goal of reducing the deficit by $4 trillion in 12 years or less in his speech Wednesday, according to a senior administration official, CNN White House Correspondent Dan Lothian reported.
1:00 p.m. ET – @RepWeiner: I'm gonna livetweet during the President's budget remarks at 1:30 #OtherOptionIsTalkingBackToMyTV
12:53 p.m. ET – @ChuckSchumer: @SpeakerBoehner should heed advice from business leaders, stop playing politics with debt ceiling. It’s playing with fire
12:32 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: I would like to thank the GOP for responding to the president's speech over an hour before he gives it.
12:23 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: NOW BOEHNER throws gauntlet: "Raising taxes will not be a part of it"... of dealing with the deficit. #p2 #teaparty #tcot
12:20 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: DEFICIT SHOWDOWN heats up: McConnell just drew a hard line, said "We will not be discussing raising taxes." Read: Bush tax cuts. #tcot #p2
11:58 a.m. ET - @SpeakerBoehner: By the #s: learn more about the largest spending cut since WWII http://j.mp/fdcfUK #jobs
11:57 a.m. ET - @RepWeiner: Looking at embargoed fact sheet on Potus plan. Not allowed to tell you about it yet. #ButMyHashtagLikesWhatHeSees
11:00 a.m. ET - President Barack Obama will call Wednesday for an end to the Bush-era tax cuts for Americans making over $250,000 annually, according to a senior administration official, CNN White House Correspondent Dan Lothian reported.
9:42 a.m. ET - On the Senate floor Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said: "The truth is the president is only entering this debate at all because he can no longer ignore the growing bipartisan calls for action. If he were serious he'd be talking about a detailed road map for action not just grabbing headlines by announcing another speech,. Of course we can hope that the president presents more than just his vision for the future this afternoon."
I agree with Gloria, President Obama did sound as though he's on the campaign trail ~ and I loved it! I wish he had spoken like that all during his presidency ~ it gets you fired up. I also liked what he had to say, but wish he had been even more specific. Bottom line ~ I liked what he said and I loved the way he said it.
Although it may be necessary to raise taxes at some point on some persons, it is first imperative for President Obama to realize that (a) it is our money and not his that he is spending; therefore tax cuts are not a "gift" to us from government, and (b) we are not children and therefore these broad outlines of government cuts are insufficient – we need the specific proposals. For example, medical research is pretty broad – some research is an essential investment while others is not during a time of recession.
The president was eloquent as usual. Every American should be proud that we have a President who can express himself so beautifully. I agree with everything he said. The Bush tax cuts should go away for those making over 250K. Giving the tax cuts has not created any new jobs as was thought, so why would we continue them?
We need the truth about what any of our Ponzi politicians call a "balanced budget". Social Security and Medicare taxes must be excluded from any future discussions and give us a clearer picture of what our true deficits are.
We also need to address our false "free trade" mantra. Both lies are destroying our country. "Free trade" does not happen. "Free trade" is a one-way street to global slavery enforced by tyrannical dictators and our military. I just read a right-wing email that claims we've got to strengthen our global military power over the entire world. How do those right-wingers differ from Hitler or Stalin? I don't believe they do.
End our military-slavery complex. Bring our manufacturing back to the USA. Restore our import taxes; tax the corporations that outsource our jobs.
I finally heard the word "fairness." I agree with the direction our President is trying to go. It is only fair that the rich do something for their (our) country – in this case by a least paying the same percentage on income that the rest of us do. His ideas for Tax reform is part of that.
The Preident has a GREAT plan outlined, Now if the politians will quit fighting like little children and do what they havve been elected for our country MAY stand a chance of being what our founding fathers intended it to be.! My wife and I are both senior citizens. We pay a lot for our medical, ie. medicare,prescriotion coverage and supplemental health insurance for 2010, we paid out about $15,000.00!! We have paid into medicare all of working lives. I wish we had that mmoney now, we could pay for these outrageous costs. Taxes,I'll pay wht General Electric is paying any time.
The presidents speech was right on the money. It strikes me that revising the tax code is a key to everyone paying a fair share. I belive the wealthy should pay more and in no case a smaller percentage of income than working the middle class..
Simplify the tax code to much and a lot of accountants, H & R Block and I.R.S. employees will be without jobs!! A Flat tax, eliminate all deductions except for education expenses and/or deposits into College Funds and IRA Accounts for "FAMILY'S" that are making less than $250,000.00/year is what we need!!
The millionaires, CEOs and corporations have been getting richer while middle class income has gone down. Obama is right, It is time they carry their share of the burden.
President Obama Got my vote today. I can't believe I said President, I have not called someone President in a long long time
.I was getting ready to run Robinhood for President.. Today President Obama sound like a real President. I hope he keeps it up.
I am a Christian and stand with you Presidnet Obama, Great compassion and a plan will make a better America..No Kicking the Can Down the Road,, more will suffer!
I am pleased with the statements of our President. The public needs to take serious steps to educate themselves rather than making decisions based on fear and misleading statements that are made by so many. We must take steps to reduce spending and increase revenue and increase our country's economic health. The people of our country cannot expect a healthy economy if our country doesn't have a healthy economy. The greed among so many has in large part contributed to these economic problems – it is time to get serious and get honest – our congress must take action to save our country rather than save their political futures.
I agree with our president.They should take back the millionaire welfare of the Bush era.The tinkle down affect has never worked it only makes rich people more wealthy.
I just watched Pres. Obama's speech. I also watched, for a very few minutes, some of the commentaries by 'the best political news team.....' I couldn't believe what I was hearing from Dana Bash. The President repeated several times that WE HAVE TO NOT ONLY CUT SPENDING, BUT ALSO TAKE THE TAX CUTS FROM THE WEALTHY. He repeated this over and over. This seems to be the problem. The Republicans don't hear what they don't want to hear. They simply ignor what has been said and repeat what they have been saying. Do they have a clue what will happen IF they get what they ask for????
we are a small business trying to stay alfoat in ny state but we find ourselves sinking every year and it's simply due to taxes can not afford to stay in business at these tax rate. we are not millionaire's Obama needs to do and not ask..Bush tax cuts must go! We can not wait fro 12 years we need change NOW!!
President Obama's plan could work, however the Republicans are not going to work with him. Their plan is to continue
to oppose any thing he proposes with the ultimate goal of making sure he is not a sucessful Presdient. The Republicans
and the Tea Party have a problem, I know They know what their problem is, the media knows what the problem is, and
most Americans know what the problem is. Its a shame that the National Legislators would rather see this country
go down the tube at any cost.
As far as the deficit goes, lets start at the top with the senators and congressmen. Take away their health insurance, perks, and extra staff. That would save our country alot of money!!!
We need to start thinking less politcally and more about the welfare of our country. This government owns 650 million acres of public land. About time we start thinking about giving 100 acres to any unemployed person who will learn to take care of themselves on their own land, thereby reducing unemployment and unemployment payout. We can argue about taxes and raising and lowering them until the cows come home. Lets really talk about puttin people to work and relieve the suffering in this country. I know there is more we can do than taxes. Time for an Oklahoma land rush or gold rush or what ever excites the common American back to work for themselves. Quit depending on the govt for your welfare.
His speech was excellent and right on the money. I really like his honesty. He is a good president, in my humble opinion.
Both democrats and rebulicans need to stop trying to make the other look bad and do whats right to improve this country.
Recently I exchanged emails with a friend who could best be described as an intelligent, strongly Republican, devoted Christian and a real conservative. For many years I myself could be described much the same way and I still consider myself as a moderate conservative, probably more a Centrist, still with Christian values but now a registered Independent (“PND – Party Not Declared”). Bare with me and I won’t argue political ideology but will just use my friend’s email to demonstrate a real fallacy and a common problem that can exist on either side.
The following is quoting the main position, the strong sentiments of her email:
“let me state, emphatically, that I could not disagree with you more. Our president, little “p”, is most definitely unpatriotic. He does not have America’s best interests in sight. He is making a mockery of the USA to other countries, evidenced by his comments, his actions, and his philosophies. I fear greatly for this country. Obama is following his own agenda and that of the democratic party. He’s been groomed by some “entity,” possibly even more powerful than the Democratic party. Who paid for his education? How is it he only served one term as an elected official and was pushed right on up the political ladder so quickly? It’s a shame that much of his power has come from people who have grown to hate Bush and the Republicans.”
I’m afraid this isn’t the exception and clearly represents a typically brainwashed mentality. I won’t get into the politics and rather will just stick with the emotion and the obviously unfounded biased thinking demonstrated. Starting with the “Our president” and continuing for two sentences it becomes very clear that she is being totally emotional without any reality to justify what she says. The problem with that is those strong emotions totally block rational reasoning and simply justify accepting slanted propaganda. To call President Obama “unpatriotic” and to say “He does not have America’s best interests in sight” is completely ludicrous and totally defensive of a biased position that very likely can’t be supported any other way.
Next the “mockery of the USA to other countries” conveniently ignores the reality that Bush-Cheney drove America’s foreign reputation and respect into the pits, with the full support of the Republican Party and, to this day, without their ever offering anything to change that, all while Obama has been given credit internationally for significantly turning it around. Reality again is ignored.
Then regarding the “own agenda”, it really is just ‘the pot calling the kettle black’. No one worked harder at stubbornly and irresponsibly pursuing their own private agenda, for the benefit of the very few, their strong supporters, then Bush-Cheney and again with the full support of the Republican Party who even now are again aggressively pushing their own political ambitions at any cost. Once more reality is conveniently ignored.
Lastly, the rest is pure garbage, purely emotional blabber trying to create justification for faulting Obama with unfounded and ridiculous innuendos. The funny part about it is if you change the name from Obama to Palin and the party from Democratic to Republican, it clearly is far more applicable. And isn’t it really expected that “hate” of the opposition is actually strong motivation for supporting either candidate – maybe “dislike” is a better word and especially when based on real justification.
The point here isn’t to argue the merit of the political preferences but rather to identify the fallacy of a mentality that is all too common and, regardless of which side is being supported, totally fails to be objective with rational discernment and constructive decisions. Today there is just too much of that going on; fed, created and controlled by creative appeals to fears, emotions, biases, prejudices and predetermined attachments without regard for reality, for what really benefits the people. The few once again want to use their power, influence and substantial wealth to buy, con, manipulate and control public opinion for their own benefit. If the majority won’t be rational and objective with their biases, prejudices and emotional attachments put aside, then we are very likely to be returned to ‘more of the same’ that cost us so much. There are those who don’t want us to be rational and if we can’t clear the antagonistic smokescreen and reject the creative emotional appeals, how can we ever expect to make logical decisions?
Just about everything in our home is from China. Americans lose their jobs and the country is in debt to China. Why not start tariffs on China to help pay down our debt and bring jobs back to America? Other countries do this.
I loved his speech. He really outlined a thorough plan to cut the deficit and spending that has gone out of control in Washington. Something has got to give. We can't have our cake and eat it. We can't expect to remain a super power by keep allowing our deficit to increase. Republicans talk about reducing the deficit but won't make the though sacrifice of raising taxes on the rich. Obama made it real by outlining the necessity of raising the taxes on the rich. That is the way to go if we are really serious in cutting the deficit. If we don't, we may loose our super power status in the next 10 years while China and India will make outstanding strides on the world stage. Enough said !!!
I am so happy that finally someone who is rich is thinking about the middle class and the poor. However are the people who are running this country with our taxes. I fail to understand how long it will take for the rich to understand what it means to want to live without worrying where your next meal is coming from or how can I can I afford to send my child to a good school or want to see their children go to college. I really feel as though people need to look to see who is really spending our money. It is always the rich spending our money but I can't remember a time when any of these folks fought for the middle class and the poor. I have decided not to vote for any rich person ever again
It's obvious Obama is sincere in his goals and objectives. Why can't we have tax raise for the wealthy, it's only logical. Why should we face-out Medicare? Americans need more patriotism from Republicans, and Tea Party. It's understandable the president cannot high-light details of his ambition at this time to give leverage for deliberations and debate from conservatives.