President Barack Obama's awaited proposal on Wednesday dealing with specific dollar amounts and cuts needed to address the United States' $14.3 trillion debt will contrast with a Republican proposal offered last week by offering a balance that it didn't have, a White House spokesman said.
[T]he House Republican plan demonstrates a shared goal with the President, which is that we need to take serious action to address our long-term deficit and debt issues. What it doesn't demonstrate is the kind of balance that this President believes we have to employ as we address those long-term needs, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Tuesday ahead of a speech on
A Republican proposal last week aims to reduce deficits by $4 trillion over the next 10 years.
Carney referred to Obama's 2012 budget proposal in mid-February where Obama said all three legs of the stool need to be considered when dealing with the deficit: Entitlements, tax expenditures, and defense spending.
The only way to get there in a balanced way, in a way that spreads the burden, that makes sure that it's fair and protects the economy so that it can continue to grow and create jobs is to look at all of that as we're going forward, he Carney said.
Obama's plan will be previewed behind closed doors Wednesday morning in a meeting with Congressional leaders.
Washington is attempting to deal with the issues involved. Last year, Obama established a bipartisan commission on the debt and deficit. Some of the proposals are expected to be included in his Wednesday speech at Georgetown University at 1:35 p.m. EST.
Obama's last major fiscal policy proposal came in February with his submission to Congress of the 2012 budget. That document did not deal with long-term spending programs for health care, considered to be one of the major drivers of deficits.
Last week, Republicans made their 2012 proposal which includes changes to the Medicare system for seniors meant to reduce spending. Republicans also proposed lower corporate taxes and maintaining certain tax breaks for people earning more than $250,000, a move which the Obama administration has opposed as a long-term solution.
Senators of the so-called Gang of Six, who include liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans have also been discussing the long term problems. One says both spending and tax issues must be addressed.
Neither side's got all the answers in this debate, Senator Mark Warner D-VA told CNN. He said the issues involved were not either just about spending or taxing. If we're not looking at both sides of the balance sheet we should not even start this discussion.
Deficit and Budget and Raising the Debt Ceiling
Obama's long-term budget and deficit vision should not be tied to raising the federal debt ceiling, a move needed to avert U.S. defaults in the next several months, Carney said.
Republicans say they want to extract big concessions from Obama and Senate Democrats to raise the $14.3 billion debt ceiling, when it is expected to be reached next month.
Carney said raising it is an imperative and is needed to avoid a global calamity, adding that both Congress and the President have agreed needs to be done.
In Tuesday's speech, Obama will demonstrate his sincere commitment to reducing the deficit, to cutting spending, to getting our fiscal house in order, Carney said.
A game of chicken with our economy is a hugely risky affair, Carney said.
Carney said last year's health care reform legislation, bitterly opposed by the Republican leadership, will reduce the long term health care costs by $200 billion over 10 years and over a trillion in 20 years.
White House Preview
The White House said Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were to host a 10:40 a.m. meeting in Cabinet Room.
Expected attendees from the House include Speaker John Boehner, R-OH, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi D-CA, Rep. Eric Cantor, R-VA, Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-MD. Senate attendees are expected to include Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV; Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY; Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Sen. John Kyl, R-AZ.