WASHINGTON – President Obama, drawing immediate condemnation from congressional Republicans, unveiled a new deficit reduction plan Monday anchored by $1.5 trillion in new taxes, including an end to Bush-era rates for upper income earners making $250,000 or more and additional taxes on millionaires.
Keying in on a populist message that millionaires and billionaires should pay more in taxes than their secretaries, the president announced a plan in the Rose Garden that includes more than $2 trillion total in entitlement cuts and tax increases over the next decade.
Together with spending cuts enacted last month and projected savings from interest payments, the savings in the president’s plan total more than $3 trillion. The Obama administration is also adding on another $1 trillion in savings over 10 years from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, though that kind of accounting has been dismissed in past debates as a gimmick.
The $4 trillion effort is tied to his American Jobs Act, aimed at putting nearly 14 million unemployed back to work. Critics have stated that targeting job creators — the top 1 percent pays 38 percent of the tax burden, according to 2008 estimates — won’t help the jobless find employment.
House Speaker John Boehner last week warned that tax hikes should be off the table as a newly formed bipartisan committee meets to extract long-term deficit savings.
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