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President Obama details $3 trillion deficit reduction plan

by Adam Russett on September 20, 2011

President Barack Obama unveiled his $3 trillion deficit reduction plan on Monday, outlining his hopes of increasing revenue by ending the long-standing Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

Although just half of the savings plan would come from the so-called tax hikes, Republicans in Washington quickly jumped on Obama, saying that in a time of economic crisis, nobody should be paying more, CNN reports. However, Obama maintains (much as he did this summer) that a deficit reduction plan must include both revenue increases and spending cuts.

"It's going to take a balanced approach," Obama said in a much-anticipated speech. "If we're going to make spending cuts – many of which we wouldn't make if we weren't facing such large budget deficits – then it's only right that we ask everyone to pay their fair share."

Obama steadfastly promised Congress that he would veto any legislation that comes to his desk without both measures included. As he has done since Obama has taken office, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized the President for proposing "massive tax hikes," while Speaker of the House John Boehner characterized the move as class warfare.

Perhaps the most important part of the proposal is a tax surcharge that is being called the Buffett Rule, named for billionaire Warren Buffett who recently said that the richest Americans are not being taxed enough.

Whether or not the bill will pass remains to be seen but political analysts are saying that the fiery speech ratchets up the rhetoric just a year ahead of the 2012 election. When combined with Obama's $447 billion jobs bill that he outlined last week, the deficit reduction plan has clearly framed the next year of political debate, NPR reports.

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