This afternoon President Obama’s spokesman Jay Carney endorsed Senate majority leader Harry Reid’s debt ceiling proposal:
Senator Reid’s plan is a reasonable approach that should receive the support of both parties.
Reid’s proposal, as the Huffington Post reported, came “without measures to increase revenue,” or without tax hikes.
Tonight, though, President Obama suggested that Republicans are preventing a “balanced approach” by “insisting on a cuts-only approach”:
Americans, regardless of political party, don’t understand how we can ask a senior citizen to pay more for her Medicare before we ask corporate jet owners and oil companies to give up tax breaks that other companies don’t get. How can we ask a student to pay more for college before we ask hedge fund managers to stop paying taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries? How can we slash funding for education and clean energy before we ask people like me to give up tax breaks we don’t need and didn’t ask for?
The only reason this balanced approach isn’t on its way to becoming law right now is because a significant number of Republicans in Congress are insisting on a cuts-only approach – an approach that doesn’t ask the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to contribute anything at all. And because nothing is asked of those at the top of the income scales, such an approach would close the deficit only with more severe cuts to programs we all care about – cuts that place a greater burden on working families.