The Corner

Today’s Questions for the President

In your address on the debt ceiling last night, you stressed the need for a “balanced approach” to the issue, i.e., one that includes both tax increases and spending cuts. You provided some specifics as to the tax increases: raising taxes on corporations, hedge-fund managers, those making more than $250,000, corporate jet owners, and “patriotic Americans” – so that everyone will pay their “fair share.” You provided no specific spending cuts. During your July 22 press conference, however, you promised to provide specifics: as you put it, a ”tick-tock” and a “walk- through” of your negotiations with Republicans, as well as going through “all the paper” of your plan.

That was four days ago, and your administration warns that failure to raise the debt ceiling in the next few days would be cataclysmic. Accordingly: 

Where is your plan? When can we read it?

What specific cuts — to which programs and by how much — does it include?

How are reforms to Medicaid and Medicare structured?

Precisely how much,  in constant dollars, are you going to cut Medicaid and Medicare in FY 2012, 2013, 2014 ,etc.? How does Obamacare factor into your plan and what baselines does your plan use?

Does your goal of having everyone pay his “fair share” include raising taxes on the nearly 50 percent of Americans who pay no federal income taxes?  If not, don’t you consider those individuals “patriotic Americans”?

Why does Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid appear to be oblivious to your plan? Why haven’t you clued him in?

Peter Kirsanow — Peter N. Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

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