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.
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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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