Obama's deficit fix: Tax the rich?

The president's proposal to shrink the federal budget shortfall is expected to feature tax increases for people making more than $250,000 a year

On Wednesday, President Obama is expected to unveil a deficit reduction plan that would raise revenue by hiking taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
(Image credit: Getty)

On Wednesday, President Obama will unveil a plan to reduce the nation's debt — a plan that will reportedly end tax breaks and loopholes for high-earners and trim defense spending. Though it would also involve changes to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, Obama's approach will represent a clear alternative to the entitlement-slashing proposal released last week by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.): More taxes vs. fewer benefits. Will Obama's vision of government prevail? (Watch an MSNBC discussion about Obama's proposal.)

This country doesn't need a tax hike: "Didn't we already have this fight?" says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. And didn't Obama agree to postpone rehashing the argument over higher taxes for the $250,000+ set until the end of 2012? He should have stuck with that plan. We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem. That means tax hikes won't help. In fact, they'll actually hurt the fragile economic recovery — not to mention Obama's re-election hopes.

"Obama’s very big, brand-new idea on entitlement reform is ..."

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Actually, Obama should veer even farther left: "I feel like I've seen this play before," too, says Jonathan Cohn in The New Republic. Obama starts out with a "a flexible, center-left position," Republicans start with a "rigid, far-right position," like Ryan's, and the "compromise" is somewhere in right field. Ryan is proposing "something truly radical," and not in a good way. If Obama wants this to end up in the center, he can't start there.

"Obama to talk entitlement reform. Gulp"

Both sides need to get real: Obama should focus his speech on "one major goal": No more "phony numbers," says Jonathan Bernstein in The Washington Post. His plan can't have them, and neither can anything from the GOP. Ryan's so-called "serious" plan only works if you believe unserious economic projections from "a friendly think tank." Nothing Obama says will budge public opinion, but it might get "the Beltway elites" to stop giving Ryan unearned "Serious Points."

"Obama should tell GOP: Time to get serious"

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