Live blog of the president's address
April 13th, 2011
01:10 PM ET
7 years ago

Live blog of the president's address

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 #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."

Filed under: Budget • President Obama
soundoff (325 Responses)
  1. Stone

    I thought his speach was perfect... frankly were has this guy been the past four years? This is the guy I elected, not the one who lets the two sides bicker. Taxes need to be raised. Duh... and cutting that 12% the GOP wants to is just stupid. And as for him keeping the tax cuts in Dec. what did you expect? We were in a recession and the GOP wasn't giving anything without it. If you want to blame someone blame them not Obama... I wish the news people would just shut up and stop trying to read between his words and spin it into lies.

    April 13, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  2. vivian taylor

    I think the speech laid out in detail what the problem is, but when he spoke of the Defense Department, I wish he, Gates and the Pentagon chiefs will discuss getting out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya which would REALLY save some money that we can spend on ourselves. Vivian

    April 13, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. John Laderoute

    Of course the Republicans are against tax increases for the rich making over $250,000 because that's most of them. The President is fighting for the poor and middle class, that's why he'll get reelected. And saying this will stop the rich from hiring new people for their businesses is bull, they lay people off and dump the work on who's ever left, and as long as work gets done, they don't care, more money in their pocket.

    April 13, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. G. Sana

    As bad as our situation now, we need to do some sacrifices or we will all end up in very unfortunate situations. Sadly, some will be affected more than others, but in the end we will all benefit from this.

    April 13, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  5. Name fuzzy

    No meat on the bone – we need more specifics. Agreement will only be met when we stop fighting and think about the responsibility to unborn future generations. We need to appreciate what precious generations sacrificed for us and leave the same legacy for our children's children and act in a non partisan way to get us back on track. Anything short of this is absolute wrecklessness.


    April 13, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. Charles H

    The Proposed plan, like all that have come before it, has many unkown variables but the basis of this plan is solid. If your desire is truly to help the "common man" find a way out of this reccession, then you have to focus on a plan the does just that. The President Is truly trying to be a "Peoples President" by recognizing that this countries leadership has become more about money and less about people. The President is fighting Some of the wealthiest in the world in an attempt to undo a decade or more of a coorpoarate ran America. An America that in recent years has placed the wants of the coorporate world over the rights/needs of the people.

    April 13, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. NameRichard c Solomon

    we are all americans the seperation of political parties seperates us and the ones that suffer are the people these politicians are suposed to represent. "We the people" are obviously the rich versus the poor! There is no middle class. Everybody should pay there fair share if your richer and make more money then you should pay your equal share not just the poor. One more thing the president is the president any all efforts to dimean him used to be treason. All the republicans that were just elected, in all their speaches was saying not how they are going to work with the president but to work against him. The constitution say for the people by the people not the republicans or demacrates....Who really is running the show and how much money and power is enough I sick to be american by the way our leaders act

    April 13, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. Marion

    I agree with President Obama. Leave Social Security, Medicare and Education alone. The middle class always suffer when the budget is cut. Sacrifices! Lets see the Rich sacrifice by paying their share of taxes. The middle class can't withstand any more cuts. We have been forced to sacrifice over and over and over. No more.. GOP needs to step up to the plate and take responsibility. The American people will not stand for anymore cuts. There are many many needless programs that can be cut. Once again the GOP needs to leave programs that are so badly needed alone. They lost my vote. They are all about themselves. I am sick of it. Go Obama!!!!

    April 13, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  9. marcia

    It's long overdue to include Defense spending cuts and major tax reform. I support heavy cuts to Defense and believe that it should also include how we deal with legal issues in America to include jail and prison reforms that result in more training for rehabilitation to reduce the high numbers of our citizens that are a great expense to keep non-violent offenders locked up.

    I support maintaining and improving investments of education for all citizens. However, this should include educational assistance for adults of all ages who may to need to retrain in blue collar industries, finish their degrees, or need other help in regaining employment.

    I heavily support the need to maintain and improve EPA monitoring, oversight and enforcement to improve water and air quality and also support medical research that appropriately increases generic drug availability and wellness.

    April 13, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  10. jsloan512

    Finally Obama acts like a leader on these issues.

    April 13, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  11. Mary Ann

    I AM VERY PROUD of President Obama. He explained it very clearly. If you do not agree with him and are not in the top income bracket then prepare to be very poor or a homeless person. That includes the poor, and everyone on medicare and medicaid The Republicans want only the rich to afford education, health care and to live in a very luxurious style. While letting the poor and middle class defend and die for our country. I would like to know what percentage of the wealthy have or their children, have served in these two wars were are in? Also do the wealthy collect social security? Do they have medicare and medicaid?

    April 13, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  12. Mzr

    Jobs are coming back and America will back in shape in 2014.. Hahaha lol your the best President
    God bless you and God bless America. Your doing a better job.

    April 13, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  13. Jack Granger

    One of the best speeches I've heard from the President. His basic approach appeals to our common sense. I'm in the "wealthy 2%" that faces additional taxes, and I've got to agree-the future of our nation is at stake here. I'd like to see cuts everywhere and a massive overhaul & simplification of our tax code through the elimination of most tax loopholes (many of which benefit me)-but our future is more important. The defense sector (in which I work) needs to continue to see major streamlining, but the big sacred cow-entitlements–MUST be overhauled if we're to survive fiscally. Welfare, social security, the whole thing. The time for honest leveling with the American people is at hand. The President is setting a realistic tone here. Ugly work is at hand, but the alternavive is unthinkable. The fringe elements in each party need to see the bigger picture and work together. Or they need to be sent home by voters.

    April 13, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  14. Mary Allen

    Well done!

    I was wondering how much more Obama could take. After listening to shamfaul and unfair votes made proposing cuts for our poor, our young children and our seniors. I watched C-Span and every single yes vote made by the Right side of congress.... all I could think of was I hope they all have terrible dreams and get no sleep.

    I couldn't stop thinking of a movie I viewed so long ago .... but after dialing 1- 800 – ROBINHOOD I realized there were too many numbers. We as a country need to help those who need help and to be fair that is what my mother taught me.


    April 13, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  15. EK of West Michigan

    Accounting 101: To balance a budget – INCREASE REVENUE/ REDUCE EXPENDITURES

    April 13, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  16. freedom

    i have a crazy idea on how to fix the economy of our country . How about we legalize and tax the biggest cash crop in the USA . Thats right lets legalize marijuana and tax it . each year billions of dollars are spent enforcing marijuana laws .lets cut that ,and then lets tax it it is the biggest cash crop in the country and instead of taxing it and helping fix our budget we spend spend spend to fight it

    April 13, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  17. tio politico uno

    what?please Mr.president lets go after all republicans and democrats who stand on the way of compromise that is what
    the founding fathers had in mind with the 3 branches of government.

    April 13, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  18. bill rogers

    once agin the gop is against raising taxes on people making 250,000 or more proof positive that they are against the average working person and family,as one of those average taxpayers we dont care if it brings down the deficit down by 1 dollar but we are sick and tired of carrying the country on our backs as those making the big bucks get the breaks. seems the gop is more concerned with protecting gop fund raising and votes. the fact of the matter is the average people are not voting and its time that they get out and vote and get their voices heard that the republicans start respecting us and not the elite. and if not send them home to stay

    April 13, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. Bill321

    Another Obama Political Campaing speech. Obama has yet to deliver on any promise. Again nothing but empty promises. We are worse off today than before he took office. It is time to deliver on the promise for change.

    April 13, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |

    I agreed with the President's speech today, and feel his plan will help our economy and our country. We all have a responsibility to each other and working together with the President's plan, we can meet this responsibility.
    David M. Reed

    April 13, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  21. Bluman33

    I feel like he was very clear that we should all expect to make some sacrifices, and that clearly included the rich and the super rich. There is a very stark difference between the conservative vision and his vision for this country. I am all for a simplified tax code so that companies like General Electric can really pay what they owe and not get by with paying virtually nothing. I don't know how he can get it done but he has my support.

    April 13, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  22. Barbara D. Conger

    I whole heartily agree with all Obama's suggestions. Too bad these ideas are not fully endorsed by most people that know how to think about these issues. Share the wealth should be an ideal for all people.

    April 13, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  23. Marinus De Jongh

    For the most part I agree with the president. He provided a good explanation how we got into this fiscal bind. He also showed a way to get out of it without hurting the vulnerable too much. However, there was too little emphasis on growth. There was definitely too little emphasis on new technologies, on energy efficiency, and on educating a new class of engineers, scientists, and physicists to lead the country onto a path of sustainable growth and increased competitiveness in the world.

    April 13, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  24. phoenix86

    The Obama plan is no plan. He wants to expand government at the backs of an already burdened taxpayer. 2 more years then we can send this idiot packing.

    April 13, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  25. kingsfan47

    We should cut more than just a couple of things. We should cut in the top five expenses.

    April 13, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
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