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Obama: We Need a Balanced Approach

photo of Ben Terris
July 22, 2011

The way President Obama makes it sound in an op-ed for USA Today, it would seem that everyone is on the same page about the need to include some new taxes to raise the debt ceiling.

“It’s a position taken by everyone from Warren Buffett to Bill O’Reilly,” Obama wrote. “It’s a position that was taken this week by Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, who worked together on a promising plan of their own.”

If only it were that simple. That bipartisan group of senators—the “Gang of Six”—did indeed outline a plan to raise the debt limit that included new revenues, but it was certainly not met with unanimous approval by the GOP. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin complained that the plan would add more than $2 trillion in taxes, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia said of it: "The plan fails to significantly address the largest drivers of American's debt, and it is unclear how the goals of tax and entitlement reforms would be enforced. I continue to caution that a tax increase is the wrong policy to pursue with so many Americans out of work."

 

Still, with the August 2 deadline looming, Obama used the USA Today editorial to stand strong on his commitment to a “balanced approach.”

“I'm willing to cut historic amounts of spending in order to reduce our long-term deficits,” he writes. “But the American people deserve the truth from their leaders. And the truth is, you can't get rid of the deficit by simply eliminating waste and fraud, or getting rid of pet projects and foreign aid, like some have suggested. Those things represent only a tiny fraction of what we spend our money on.”

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