"So the debate right now isn't about whether we need to make tough choices. Democrats and Republicans agree on the amount of deficit reduction we need. The debate is about how it should be done. Most Americans, regardless of political party, don't understand how we can ask a senior citizen to pay more for her Medicare before we ask a corporate jet owner or the oil companies to give up tax breaks that other companies don't get. How can we ask a student to pay more for college before we ask hedge fund managers to stop paying taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries? How can we slash funding for education and clean energy before we ask people like me to give up tax breaks we don't need and didn't ask for?
Many Washington inside observers wondered why the President was still discussing the idea of revenue increases, when apparently the White House has indicated it would support a proposal by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) which calls for $2.7 trillion in cuts and no revenue increases. Considering the two basic proposal currently on the table in the House and Senate, neither of which call for any revenue increases; it would appear that Republicans have won a significant portion of the battle. It seems the only major issue yet to be resolved is whether the debt ceiling increase will be "short term" (6-9 months) which Republicans are supporting; or, "longer-term (through 2012) which the President and Democrats are supporting.
Frustrated by the stalemate, President Obama said, "The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn't vote for a dysfunctional government. So I'm asking you all to make your voice heard. If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know. If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message."
Access an overview, video and full text of the President's remarks (click here). Access the full text of Speaker Boehner's remarks (click here). Access the Senate Democratic proposal (click here). Access the House Republican proposal (click here). [#All]