The President’s speech began a new conversation in Washington about how to reduce the deficit while protecting crucial investments in our country’s future.
But as we seek to build an organization based outside of Washington, President Obama’s speech also provides an unusually stark contrast — one all of us can use to start conversations with our friends and neighbors about what’s at stake in this election.
He spoke about things you don’t generally hear in Washington conversations too often dominated by special interests: He’ll cut waste and excess at the Pentagon — particularly spending that is requested not by our military, but by politicians and corporate interests.
He’ll eliminate tax cuts for Americans in the highest tax brackets who don’t need them, including himself — and he will reform the individual tax code so that it’s fair and simple and so that the amount of taxes you pay isn’t determined by what kind of accountant you can afford.
Some cuts he proposed are tough. But they’re also smart and surgical — helping us balance our books while still doing the right things to win the future. President Obama’s plan would protect the middle class, invest in our kids’ education, and make sure we don’t protect the wealthiest Americans from the costs of reform at the expense of the most vulnerable.
The other side has presented a very clear alternative: End Medicare as we know it, privatizing the program that millions of seniors rely on for health care. Make deep cuts to education. Slash investments in clean energy and infrastructure. All to pay for tax cuts for people making over $250,000 a year, and all while actually raising our national debt.
In short, their plan will please a special interest donor base and those who put ideology before results rather than reduce deficits over the long term. And let’s be clear: They think they can get away with it because, fundamentally, they don’t think you’ll do anything about it.
That’s where I know we can prove them wrong. Because we can respond right now by building an organization that will stop them — not just in this deficit battle, but in the next election so they never have the chance to enact these proposals.
Here’s the first step. Join our fight for a deficit reduction plan that will actually reduce the deficit — with a goal of shared prosperity through shared responsibility. Add your name to support President Obama’s plan — and then help bring more people into the conversation:
President Obama made a promise in his speech today. He said that we won’t have to sacrifice programs like Medicaid and Social Security — programs that millions of Americans rely on — as long as he’s President. He’s committed to seeking serious solutions to the problems we face while still upholding the larger responsibilities we have to one another. So it’s our job to build the organization that’s going to keep him in the White House.
Obama for America
P.S. — If you missed President Obama’s speech earlier today, some excerpts are below:
1. “Our approach lowers the government’s health care bills by reducing the cost of health care itself.
“Already, the reforms we passed in the health care law will reduce our deficit by $1 trillion. My approach would build on these reforms. We will reduce wasteful subsidies and erroneous payments. We will cut spending on prescription drugs by using Medicare’s purchasing power to drive greater efficiency and speed generic brands of medicine onto the market. We will work with governors of both parties to demand more efficiency and accountability from Medicaid. We will change the way we pay for health care — not by procedure or the number of days spent in a hospital, but with new incentives for doctors and hospitals to prevent injuries and improve results. And we will slow the growth of Medicare costs by strengthening an independent commission of doctors, nurses, medical experts and consumers who will look at all the evidence and recommend the best ways to reduce unnecessary spending while protecting access to the services seniors need.”
2. “But let me be absolutely clear: I will preserve these health care programs as a promise we make to each other in this society. I will not allow Medicare to become a voucher program that leaves seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry, with a shrinking benefit to pay for rising costs. I will not tell families with children who have disabilities that they have to fend for themselves. We will reform these programs, but we will not abandon the fundamental commitment this country has kept for generations.”
3. “In December, I agreed to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans because it was the only way I could prevent a tax hike on middle-class Americans. But we cannot afford $1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our society. And I refuse to renew them again.”
4. “This is my approach to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next twelve years. It’s an approach that achieves about $2 trillion in spending cuts across the budget. It will lower our interest payments on the debt by $1 trillion. It calls for tax reform to cut about $1 trillion in spending from the tax code. And it achieves these goals while protecting the middle class, our commitment to seniors, and our investments in the future.
“So this is our vision for America — a vision where we live within our means while still investing in our future; where everyone makes sacrifices but no one bears all the burden; where we provide a basic measure of security for our citizens and rising opportunity for our children.”
5. “But no matter what we argue or where we stand, we’ve always held certain beliefs as Americans. We believe that in order to preserve our own freedoms and pursue our own happiness, we can’t just think about ourselves. We have to think about the country that made those liberties possible. We have to think about our fellow citizens with whom we share a community. And we have to think about what’s required to preserve the American Dream for future generations.
“This sense of responsibility — to each other and to our country — this isn’t a partisan feeling. It isn’t a Democratic or Republican idea. It’s patriotism.”
Obama for America