Obama Deficit Plan Eyes Tax Hikes, Medicare

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WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama will lay out his vision on how to reduce the nation's spending deficit and the national debt during a major speech at George Washington University on Wednesday night.

White House officials say the president will announce a balanced approach that addresses the three legs of the stool that cost the U.S. government the most money, including:

  • Entitlement programs like Medicare
  • The U.S. Defense Department
  • Tax breaks on everything from college tuition to real estate.

Obama's plan will likely include recommendations from members of the president's bi-partisan debt commission, led by former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., and Democratic businessman Erskine Bowls.

CBN News spoke with Phil Kerpen of Americans for Prosperity about President Obama's deficit plans and how they will affect taxpayers.  Click play for his comments following the updated CBN News report.
    
The president's speech comes one week after Republican lawmakers unveiled their own budget proposal, dubbed the "Path to Prosperity." The plan cuts the deficit by $4.4 trillion over the next decade.

Obama criticized the GOP plan.  He says it places too heavy a burden on the middle class - and doesn't require wealthy Americans to pay enough taxes.
     
The nation's spending problem is almost unimaginable. Despite the $38 billion in budget cuts agreed to by Congress and the White House on Friday, lawmakers are still on track to spend $1.5 trillion more than the government received this past year.

Congressional leaders will get the first look at the president's plan when Obama briefs them at the White House Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, an even more formidable battle looms over whether to increase the country's debt ceiling to keep the government from defaulting on its obligations.

"Really, the debt ceiling is going to be Armageddon," Sen. Kay Bailey, R-Texas, warned.

"Default by the United States would precipitate a crisis worse than the one we just went through," U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said.

Republicans say they won't vote to increase the debt ceiling without major budget concessions.

"The president says, 'I want you to send me a clean bill.' Well, guess what Mr. President -- not a chance you're going to get a clean bill. There will not be an increase in the debt limit without something really, really big attached to it," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.

Congress will have to make a decision sometime in May before the debt limit of $14.3 trillion is reached.

Dr. Charles Dunn, professor of government at Regent University, talked more about the president's deficit plan on the CBN News Channel's Midday News, April 13. Click here to watch.

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