Progressive groups warm to president over deficit reduction plan
September 19th, 2011
04:55 PM ET
3 years ago

Progressive groups warm to president over deficit reduction plan

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.

– Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PSteinhauserCNN.


Filed under: MoveOn • PCCC • President Obama
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Positive

    The President is doing it in the way it should be done. Go President Obama!

    September 19, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. Charles

    There is no such thing as a "progressive" group. Progressive is merely a cover word for left-wing. Regardless of the word, it is a worthless set of beliefs and a worthless philosophy.

    September 19, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    There is no such thing as a "conservative" group. Conservative is a cover word for nazism. Regardless of the word, it is a set of beliefs that is unAmerican in nature.

    September 19, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  4. Four and The Door

    So their idea is to tax and buy our way back to prosperity? While keeping government spending high? It's clear that this feedback did not come from the SEG ( Society of Economic Geniuses ).

    September 19, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  5. jacq

    You get behind the President,he's doing what's right for the country

    September 19, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. move.on

    "MoveOn.org has not yet decided whether to mobilize for the president's 2012 re-election bid"...I'm sorry but this is insanity...Maybe they will mobilize for....Perry?, Paul, Romney?????

    September 19, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    Progressive groups? Are all of the media idiots?

    There is nothing progressive going on at the WH. That is a program that will absolutely insure that the poor remain poor, and totally reliant on hand outs.

    September 19, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Would someone ask @ 'four . . .' how unfunded tax cuts for the wealthy and big businesses will take us back to prosperity? The only road to prosperity is by electing democrats.

    September 19, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  9. al in memphis

    I don't care which group your with or what you expect. It's simple math and we got to go through a period where everybody contributes both through spending cuts and increase revenue. If spending does not create demand, improve the education of the workforce, or provide/protect the health and well being of it citizens - then don't spend or reduce spending.
    Its not normal to have two underfunded wars and expect deficit reduction. If Bush had proposed that tax cuts immediately stop and corporations pay more in order to raised money for the Iraq war, do you think the people would be singing a different tune
    BTW, its not taxing the rich if you go back to what they were paying under the Clinton administration.

    September 19, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. Saudi America

    This plan is fair and balanced any objection is unruley

    September 19, 2011 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. Don

    The Nazis claimed the Jews were responsible for Germany’s troubles. These days, the Progressives take every opportunity to demonize the rich as if their wealth makes everyone else poor. For statist, authoritarian, collectivists of all species, it’s always “the other” who is responsible for society’s ills. The Takers continue to push their class warfare agenda.

    September 19, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  12. Tim

    Why do they think it is ok to take more money from others? I'm going to have to break their little fingers.

    September 19, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  13. Tim

    Michael Moore cannot mobilize for anything other than a jug of Hagendoz.

    September 19, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  14. michaelam

    We have your back, President Obama! So glad you decided to support the Democratic principles that helped you get where you are today....President of the United States of America! Now, do NOT cave to these Neanderthals! They do not care about the American family or worker; they care only about rich, white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant males and corporations!

    September 19, 2011 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  15. AZ DEM

    Its great that Obama is out here campaigning for what he thinks will fix the economy in the short term. He does need to make it known that these measures will only provide temporary boosts and overall reform of the tax code is essential to getting the United States back to the top spot as an innovator for the rest of the world. We need to rebuild our roads and bridges throughout the nation, invest in SERIOUSLY educating our youth and above all else we need a tax code without loopholes for ANYONE. Then you can do just as the GOP would like and lower the rates for the long term.

    September 19, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Progressives need to stop their bashing of the president. Sometimes I think Adam Green is as looney as Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity.

    September 19, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  17. Four and The Door

    Wire Palladin, S. F.
    Would someone ask @ 'four . . .' how unfunded tax cuts for the wealthy and big businesses will take us back to prosperity? The only road to prosperity is by electing democrats.
    __________________________________________________________________________________________
    How do you "..unfund" tax cuts? It seems to me that if you cut a tax that was funding something else then that something else becomes unfunded, but a tax cut is like," I will not take so much of your money". How do you unfund 'not taking so much of someone else's money?'

    September 19, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  18. Randy, San Francisco

    Progressives have been waiting a long time for the President to stand up to the GOP/Tea Party. Time to play tough and call the GOP/Tea Party's bluff.

    September 19, 2011 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "How do you "..unfund" tax cuts? It seems to me that if you cut a tax that was funding something else then that something else becomes unfunded, but a tax cut is like," I will not take so much of your money". How do you unfund 'not taking so much of someone else's money?'"

    Please go to work tomorrow and ask your boss to cut your salary in half or, if you own your own, please just do so. Then write a nice letter to your mortgage or car loan company or some other major creditor explaining to them that you have cut your revenue and the funding for their program.

    For the GOP to argue that cutting taxes BEFORE cutting spending was even remotely "fiscally responsible" is a slap in the face to every American in this country, whether they're stupid enough to believe the GOP's BS on the subject or not. The GOP purposefully caused the deficit and debt problems we're having now by cutting taxes the way they did, as those cuts are the largest contributing factor, and they did it to justify the temper tantrum they're throwing right this second in an attempt to undo the New Deal and the Great Society programs they have hated from the get-go.

    September 19, 2011 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "How do you unfund 'not taking so much of someone else's money?'"

    No responsible adult with fixed expenses and obligations or who has taken money from another person with promises to pay it back (i.e., Medicare and SS) goes out and cuts off revenue (i.e., cuts taxes) such that it creates a deficit and debt problem because he or she failed to cut back on the expenses FIRST. Moreover, where it is near impossible to cut back on those expenses, such as Medicare and SS or other promises MADE TO PEOPLE WHO ARE PAYING INTO THE PROGRAMS TO GET THEIR BENEFITS LATER, you simply don't cut your revenue unless you want to cause yourself major financial problems. What the GOP did in 2001 and 2003 was tomfoolish any way you slice it, but it was part of their plan to create the deficit and debt problems to justify a giant "entitlement reform" hissy fit down the road.

    September 19, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  21. to the washington non-christians

    wish I knew what obamas buddy david frum is smoking because he needs to share because the last popular poll done on obama was done by the NYT nd it was 39% who thought obama is ok and the rest said obama is an idiot.

    September 19, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  22. Kathleen Farrell

    Those who oppose the plan, do you believe the very rich should pay lower tax ratew than you do? Do you believe it's right for lobbyists to influence new clauses within our tax code to the rich get richer? Do you believe we should write checks drawing on your taxes to oil companies and major agricultural conglomerates as subsidies? I just want to understand.

    September 19, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |