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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Weekly Address: President Obama – Create Jobs and Cut the Deficit

From the White House – Weekly Address

President Obama used his weekly address to tell the American people about the Budget he is sending to Congress this week, which makes the tough choices required to grow our economy and shrink our deficits.  The President’s Budget calls for a balanced approach to deficit reduction, including reforms that strengthen Medicare for future generations and tax reform that closes wasteful loopholes, so we can afford the investments required to grow grow the economy, create new jobs, and reignite the engine of our economic growth: a rising, thriving middle class.

Transcript: The President’s Plan to Create Jobs and Cut the Deficit

Hi, everybody.  Our top priority as a nation, and my top priority as President, must be doing everything we can to reignite the engine of America’s growth: a rising, thriving middle class.  That’s our North Star.  That must drive every decision we make.

Now, yesterday, we learned that our businesses created 95,000 new jobs last month.  That’s about 500,000 new jobs this year, and nearly 6.5 million new jobs over the past three years.

But we’ve got more work to do to get the economy growing faster, so that everybody who wants a job can find one.  And that means we need fewer self-inflicted wounds from Washington, like the across-the-board spending cuts that are already hurting many communities – cuts that economists predict will cost our economy hundreds of thousands of jobs this year.

If we want to keep rebuilding this economy on a stronger, sturdier foundation for growth – growth that creates good, middle-class jobs – we need to make smarter choices.

This week, I’ll send a budget to Congress that will help do just that – a fiscally-responsible blueprint for middle-class jobs and growth.

For years, an argument in Washington has raged between reducing our deficits at all costs, and making the investments we need to grow the economy.  My budget puts that argument to rest.  Because we don’t have to choose between these goals – we can do both.  After all, as we saw in the 1990s, nothing reduces deficits faster than a growing economy.

My budget will reduce our deficits not with aimless, reckless spending cuts that hurt students and seniors and middle-class families – but through the balanced approach that the American people prefer, and the investments that a growing economy demands.

Now, the truth is, our deficits are already shrinking.  That’s a fact.  I’ve already signed more than $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction into law, and my budget will reduce our deficits by nearly $2 trillion more, without harming the recovery.  That surpasses the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that many economists believe will stabilize our finances.

We’ll make the tough reforms required to strengthen Medicare for the future, without undermining the rock-solid guarantee at its core.  And we’ll enact commonsense tax reform that includes closing wasteful tax loopholes for the wealthy and well-connected – loopholes like the ones that can allow a billionaire to pay a lower tax rate than his or her secretary.

This is the compromise I offered the Speaker of the House at the end of last year.  While it’s not my ideal plan to further reduce the deficit, it’s a compromise I’m willing to accept in order to move beyond a cycle of short-term, crisis-driven decision-making, and focus on growing our economy and our middle class for the long run.  It includes ideas many Republicans have said they could accept as well.  It’s a way we can make progress together.

But deficit reduction cannot come at the cost of economic growth or middle-class security.  And it doesn’t have to.  My budget will make critical investments to grow the economy, create jobs, and strengthen the middle class.

As I said in my State of the Union Address, every day, we should ask ourselves three questions: how do we make America a magnet for good jobs?  How do we give our workers the skills they need to do those jobs?  And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?

To make America a magnet for good jobs, we’ll invest in high-tech manufacturing and homegrown American energy, put people to work building new roads, bridges, and schools, and cut red tape to help businesses grow.

To give workers the skills they need to do those jobs, we’ll invest in education that begins in the earliest years, and job training that better equips workers to compete in a 21st century economy.

To make sure hard work is rewarded, we’ll build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class, and focus on revitalizing some of our communities hardest-hit by recession and job loss.

All of these investments will help grow the economy and create jobs.  None of them will add to the deficit.  And I will lay out these priorities in greater detail in the days ahead.

It’s a budget that doesn’t spend beyond our means.  And it’s a budget that doesn’t make harsh and unnecessary cuts that only serve to slow our economy.  We’ll keep our promise to an aging generation by shoring up Medicare.  And we’ll keep our promise to the next generation by investing in the fundamentals that have always made America strong – manufacturing and innovation, energy and education.

Because that’s what it’ll take to make sure America remains strong in the years ahead – and to leave behind something better for our kids.

Thank you.

Bolding added.


  1. Chained CPI is about as popular with Democrats as the other part of the deal, tax increases, are with Republicans.

    From the left: Left Furious With Obama For Backing Social Security Cuts:

    Liberals are mounting strong criticisms of President Obama amid news that his budget will include a Social Security benefit cut – an official endorsement of a policy compromise he’s offered Republicans for years – and warning Democrats not to dare vote to cut the cherished retirement program.

    A trio of progressive advocacy groups issued scathing statements Friday in response to reports that Obama’s proposal will include a policy called “Chained CPI,” which would re-index Social Security cost of living increases to a lower rate of inflation – a benefit cut the president has included in deficit offers to Republicans since 2011.

    From the right: Boehner To Obama: Don’t Hold Entitlement Cuts ‘Hostage’ To Tax Hikes

    “When the president visited the Capitol last month, House Republicans stated a desire to find common ground and urged him not to make savings we agree upon conditional on another round of tax increases. If reports are accurate, the president has not heeded that call. If the president believes these modest entitlement savings are needed to help shore up these programs, there’s no reason they should be held hostage for more tax hikes. That’s no way to lead and move the country forward.”

  2. The Social Security trust fund does need to be replenished. Tax revenues fall below program costs in 2016 and at current benefit levels the trust fund becomes exhausted in 2033. At that point benefits would have to be cut to match the income from the contributions.

    But the correct way to fix Social Security does not include cuts to people on fixed incomes … those for whom $50 a month less in benefits would be a BHD.

    A Senate report from 2008 shows what would happen if we eliminated the earnings cap:

    If all earnings were subject to the payroll tax, but the base was retained for benefit calculations, the

    Social Security Trust Funds would remain solvent for the next 75 years.


    Since the cap was indexed to the average growth in wages, the share of the population below the cap has remained relatively stable at roughly 94%.


    If the base were removed in 2013, CRS estimates that by 2035, 21% of beneficiaries would have paid some additional payroll taxes over the course of their lifetimes. However, the average change in taxes and benefits would be small. Looking only at individuals who would pay any additional taxes over the course of their lifetimes, at the median, total lifetime tax payments would rise by 3%. In general, those in the highest income groups would have the largest changes in both tax payments and in benefits relative to current law.

    The bolded phrase is the real reason that the Republicans have no interest in fixing Social Security.

    The biggest threat to Social Security has a tea bag on its head, a pleasant face and an earnest look. Like it often does.

  3. princesspat

    10 Reasons Why Uncle Sam Needs More Tax Revenue

    The Obama administration on Friday lifted the covers on its compromise budget proposal for fiscal year 2014. But despite slashing the national debt by a projected $1.8 trillion over the next decade (bringing the total reductions since 2011 to $4.3 trillion) through painful changes to Social Security and Medicare, Republicans are predictably balking at Obama’s call for $580 billion in new tax revenue. Despite the administration’s up-front concessions on spending, GOP leaders including John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and Eric Cantor continue to repeat their talking points that “the President got his tax hikes in January” and “the discussion about revenue is over.”

    But as a quick glance at U.S. budgets past and future shows, the discussion over tax revenue should be far from over. For starters, thanks to two wars, the new unfunded Medicare prescription drug program and the government responses to the 2008 financial meltdown, federal spending surged over the previous decade even as tax revenue as a percentage of the U.S. economy hit 60 year lows. Looking ahead, the U.S. Treasury will need to raise revenues higher than the historical average not just to fill the massive hole left by the Naughts, but to fund $2 trillion more in war-related spending, the address the aging of the U.S. population and to meet the public’s demands for more, not less, spending across almost every area of government.

    Here are 10 reasons why Uncle Sam needs more tax revenue.

    His article has the links, charts and graphs to support his analysis… more than my sleepy brain can summarize this morning!

  4. Fox News Resurrects Death Panels: ‘This Is About People Dying As A Result Of Obamacare’

    During a segment discussing how the budget sequester’s two percent cut to Medicare is forcing cancer clinics to deny chemotherapy to thousands of beneficiaries, [Foxpert* Peter] Johnson told host Steve Doocy that elderly Americans should expect a lot more bad news in the coming decade as a direct consequence of the health care law.

    Follow the logic:

    – Completely unnecessary spending cuts from the sequester forced by teaparty Republicans are causing cuts in Medicare Part B

    – Those cuts are causing a reduction in the cancer drugs that are available because THERE IS NO MONEY!!

    – Obamacare will kill you

    If the teaparty had not insisted on across the board spending cuts trimming mythical “fat” from every federal agency and program, this would not be a problem. It has nothing to do with Obamacare and everything to do with cutting government help for people who need it to preserve tax loopholes for businesses and the wealthiest Americans.

    *A Foxspert is not a real expert but one who pretends to know something about actual things while appearing on Fox News.

  5. Report: Ohio Is Illegally Throwing Poor People In Jail For Owing Money

    The Americans Civil Liberties Union on Friday revealed that courts in Ohio are illegally throwing poor people in jail for being unable to pay off a debt.

    In a report titled, “The Outskirts of Hope,” (PDF) the ACLU shines a light on a harrowing “debtors’ prison” system in Ohio – one that violates both the United States’ and the Ohio constitution. Ohioans are being jailed for “as small as a few hundred dollars,” despite the constitutional violation, and the economic evidence that it costs the state more to pay for their jail sentence than the amount of the debt.

    One woman’s story:

    Megan Sharp, whose husband is currently in jail on overdue fines, was unable to pay $300 in fines for driving on a suspended license and went to jail for 10 days. When she got out, she owed $200 more on top of the original amount. Both she and her husband are unemployed.

    Debtors’ prisons were used in the 19th century to punish those who owed money. Since the Republican Party wants to repeal the 20th century, it is not surprising that they would be making a comeback.  

  6. princesspat

    Don’t Freak Out

    This cat has been out of the bag for a long time. If you’ve been reading this blog then you know that I told you that Chained CPI would be part of any eventual deal. And I told you that it was least bad thing the president could give the Republicans. So, please, don’t go nuts with the Obama is Hitler stuff. The Republicans probably still won’t take the deal, even if their leadership asks them to. That is because they are crazy.

    But, if they do, it will mean the Tea Party fever has broken and we can haz function again.

    I would like to have a better understanding of the math and the policy and political implications of the decision to bring this topic under discussion, but a rational analysis is hard to find.  

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