President Obama was in fighting form today in his speech on the deficit, lambasting Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, and insisting on higher taxes for the wealthy. He laid much of the current deficit problem at the feet of the Bush tax cuts, and pledged to eliminate them. “We cannot afford one trillion dollars' worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our society,” he declared. “We can’t afford it! And I refuse to renew them again.” He also called for reductions in itemized deductions for the wealthiest 2%, and similar changes to the corporate tax code.
He said the GOP budget proposal would “lead to a fundamentally different America than the one we’ve known,” and “end Medicare as we know it,” all while giving more tax breaks to the wealthy. “That’s not right. And it’s not going to happen as long as I’m president.” In addition to tax increases, Obama pledged to cut every kind of spending, including defense spending, Medicare, and Social Security. “We will reform these programs,” Obama said. “But we will not abandon the fundamental commitment this country has kept for generations.” Overall, the president proposed shaving $4 trillion off the deficit over a dozen years, notes Politico. Click to read the full transcript.