Entries in Budget Plan (3)


Social Security Part of Cuts in Obama's Budget Plan

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama outlined a $3.77 trillion budget plan on Wednesday that aims to reduce the deficit by raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans and cutting popular entitlement programs, saying “we've got to get smarter about our priorities as a nation.”

“For years the debate in this town has raged between reducing our deficits at all costs and making the investments necessary to grow our economy,” Obama said in a brief statement in the White House Rose Garden. “And this budget answers that argument because we can do both. We can grow our economy and shrink our deficits.”

The White House says the president’s budget proposal would reduce the deficit by an additional $1.8 trillion in the next 10 years.

The budget formalizes the offer the president made to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, during the so-called fiscal cliff negotiations in December, including cuts to both Social Security and Medicare paired with tax increases.

The White House hopes the cuts will attract bipartisan support, but the budget is largely seen as a symbolic negotiating tool and it stands little chance of becoming law.

“When it comes to deficit reduction, I’ve already met Republicans more than halfway, so in the coming days and weeks I hope that Republicans will come forward and demonstrate that they’re really as serious, as serious about the deficits and debt as they claim to be,” the president said.

Obama has invited 12 Republican senators to dinner at the White House Wednesday night, as part of his effort to seek out lawmakers who are willing to compromise.

The president’s budget also includes many of the proposals outlined in his State of the Union address, including $50 billion in infrastructure investments, $1 billion for manufacturing innovation institutes, a “Preschool for All” initiative financed by raising the federal tax on cigarettes, and raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour.

The new investments are fully paid for and offset, according to the White House, and the budget would reduce the deficit to 2.8 percent  of GDP by 2016.

“Our economy is poised for progress, as long as Washington doesn’t get in the way. And frankly the American people deserve better than what we’ve been seeing: a short-sighted, crisis-driven decision-making like the reckless across-the-board spending cuts that are already hurting a lot of communities out there, cuts that economists predict will cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs during the course of this year,” Obama said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Obama Ad Says Romney Tax Plan Dodges Details

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama campaign is doubling down on the argument that Mitt Romney’s budget plan doesn’t add up (or, as former President Bill Clinton tells it, doesn’t pass the “arithmetic test”), meaning higher taxes on the middle class and/or exploding deficits.

A new 30-second TV spot titled “Won’t Say” will begin airing Wednesday in Iowa, Nevada, Virginia and Ohio, the campaign said, hammering the Republican presidential nominee for personal secrecy with his own taxes and the specifics of his proposed tax reform plan.

“You could lose the deduction for your home mortgage, college tuition, health care,” the narrator says.  “How much would you pay?  Romney just won’t say.”

Democrats have for weeks been prosecuting Romney’s plan to cut tax rates by $5 trillion for wealthier Americans while pledging not to grow the deficit or impact middle-income earners.  Their charge was emboldened on Sunday after Romney and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan struggled to explain how they would offset the cost when asked for specifics on the Sunday talk shows.

“Romney’s tax and budget plans are a riddle wrapped inside a mystery wrapped inside a total sham,” writes Obama campaign policy director James Kvaal in a memo to be released Wednesday.

“Governor Romney and his advisers frankly admit that they won’t reveal their policy plans because it would make them less likely to be elected,” he says.  “There is no way to pay for Romney’s tax plan without raising taxes on middle class families, and there is no realistic way for Romney to address our unsustainable budget deficits, even if he guts the investments we need in the future of the middle class.”

Because of the ambiguity, independent analysts like the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, whose work the Romney campaign disputes, have had to deploy a host of assumptions in rating the Romney plan, ultimately concluding that taxes would effectively rise on middle class families.

Romney insists that his plan would not increase the tax burden on middle-income families.  But in an interview Sunday on Meet the Press, he could not provide an example of a tax loophole that he would close to help pay for a new round of tax cuts.

“I can tell you that people at the high end, high income taxpayers, are going to have fewer deductions and exemptions.  Those numbers are going to come down.  Otherwise, they’d get a tax break,” Romney said.

“And I want to make sure people understand, despite what the Democrats said at their convention.  I am not reducing taxes on high income taxpayers.  I’m bringing down the rate of taxation, but also bringing down deductions and exemptions at the high end so the revenues stay the same, the taxes people pay stay the same.  Middle income people are going to get a break.  But at the high end, the tax coming in stays the same.  But we encourage small business, because small business is able to keep more of what it makes and therefore hire more people, which is my priority,” he added.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


In Wisconsin Primary, Paul Ryan’s Budget Is on Display

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(MADISON, Wis.) -- As Paul Ryan love fests go, Wisconsin’s Republican Senate primary might put his national roll-out to shame.

Since well before Mitt Romney introduced the Wisconsin congressman as his running mate on Friday, candidates in Ryan’s home state have been jockeying for super-fan status.

On Tuesday, Wisconsin Republicans will decide a multi-way Senate primary, the winner of which will run against Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin in November.  As in primaries across the country, Ryan’s budget plan is orthodoxy among Republicans.

The top three Republicans in this race all back Ryan’s budget and Medicare reforms.  Emphatically, in fact.

Former congressman Mark Neumann has praised it.  Former governor and Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson has promised, repeatedly, to pass it.  And when Ryan introduced it in March, businessman Eric Hovde began airing a radio ad in its support.  

The three candidates even attended a rally in Wisconsin on Saturday, as Ryan made his debut as the VP candidate, and all lavished praise on him.

In a tight race, where polls have shown Hovde and Thompson as the leaders, each has sought an edge by clamoring to back Wisconsin’s hometown budget hero.

None of this is very unusual, as GOP candidates elsewhere have backed Ryan’s Medicare overhaul.  In competitive races in Indiana, Missouri and North Dakota, GOP candidates are on the record supporting Ryan’s 2011 and 2012 budgets.  In Virginia, former Sen. George Allen embraced Ryan over the weekend.

In New Mexico and Montana, GOP candidates have opposed Ryan’s budgets, and have been put on the spot in 2012.  

Former New Mexico congresswoman Heather Wilson, who never had to vote on a Ryan plan, voiced unspecified “concerns” with his health-care provisions, unwilling to say whether she opposed or supported his budgets outright, at a briefing with reporters in Washington, D.C., in July.  

In Montana, the state GOP has run a TV ad touting Rep. Denny Rehberg’s opposition to Ryan’s budget.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio