Washington (CNN) - Two leading national progressive groups that have been critical of President Barack Obama are applauding the president's plan to reduce the nation's budget deficit.
Obama released his long-awaited plan Monday, outlining a roughly $3 trillion savings blueprint that includes $1.5 trillion in new revenue generated largely by higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans, a proposal strongly opposed by GOP leaders who insist that any tax increase will undermine an already weak economy. The president's proposals include a new tax surcharge that could also be imposed on millionaires, the "Buffett Rule," named after investor Warren Buffett, who argues that the richest Americans are not taxed enough.
MoveOn.org says it's raising money in order to go up later this week with a 30-second television ad on national cable. The commercial, titled "Buffett's Secretary," closes with the narrator urging viewers to "call Congress and tell them: Raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires so all Americans pay their fair share." Buffett has previously noted that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.
MoveOn.org has been very frustrated with the president recently, from what they perceive as his inability to hold firm against Republicans in recent battles over the debt ceiling talks to his reversal on environmental policy. The group, which helped get out the vote for Obama in the 2008 election, has not yet decided whether to mobilize for the president's 2012 re-election bid.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee is another liberal group that has been upset with the president over potential cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The group recently delivered pledges to Obama's national campaign headquarters in Chicago threatening to pull its support.
But Monday the organization seemed somewhat receptive to the president's proposals.
"By barnstorming the country in support of taxing the rich and government investment in jobs, the president has followed the longtime advice of progressives and has taken big steps in the right direction for our country," said PCCC co-founder Adam Green. "To be clear, we would fight any deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits. But if those are taken off the table and the president advocates to tax the rich and invest in jobs, he will have a lot of support."
The president's plan, which would add to nearly $1 trillion in savings signed into law under the debt-ceiling deal enacted in August, does not include changes to Social Security. It would increase Medicare premiums for individuals with higher incomes starting in 2017, the year Obama leaves office if he wins a second term.
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