President Obama is being criticized on both sides of the political spectrum ahead of tomorrow’s speech at George Washington University, where he is expected lay out his “plan” for reducing the deficit. Meaning: He is expected to vaguely endorse a broad outline of some of the proposals recommended by his very own deficit commission.
On the right, Republican leaders drew a line in the sand, preemptively attacking the presidents plan to raise taxes. “From my point of view, taxes are not on the table because we don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.).
“If the President is willing to offer serious proposals that grow our economy, preserve and protect programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and set us on a path to pay down the national debt, we’re open to hearing them,” House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) said. “However, if the President begins the discussion by saying we must increase taxes on the American people – as his budget does – my response will be clear: tax increases are unacceptable and are a nonstarter. We don’t have deficits because Americans are taxed too little, we have deficits because Washington spends too much.”
Meanwhile, on left, House Democrats sent a letter to Obama on Tuesday expressing concern that the Bowles-Simpson commission would become a starting point for bipartisan negotiations, and urging the president not to recommend any changes to Social Security:
[W]e remain concerned that the Bowles-Simpson proposal may serve as a starting point for budget negotiations. We consider this plan to be flawed in several key areas, especially with respect to its proposed cuts to Social Security Benefits. We believe that any proposal that includes cuts to a popular, fiscally sound program lacks credibility and does not reflect the political center.
And liberal activist groups are circulating a petition — currently signed by more than 50,000 people — promising to withhold support from Obama if he dares to recommend any cuts to Medicare of Medicaid.