Obama Addresses Real Cause of Deficits While Making Case for Investments in Jobs

Washington – Reacting to President Obama’s budget speech today, Campaign for America’s Future’s co-director Roger Hickey said, “The Campaign for America’s Future salutes the president for clearly opposing the Republican call to end Medicare and Medicaid as we know it. The president is absolutely right that the way to get costs under control is to reform our overall health care system – not on putting a lid on Medicare and Medicaid and shifting the costs to vulnerable seniors, the disabled and the impoverished. And we are pleased that the president reiterated the simple fact that Social Security is not contributing to the deficit and should not be part of the deficit reduction discussion.”

“We also salute the president for his common sense,” said Campaign for America’s Future’s co-director Robert Borosage, “With inequality at Gilded Age levels, any sensible plan for deficit reduction must insist the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share. Similarly, with the military now spending nearly as much as the rest of the world combined, no feasible deficit reduction plan can exclude defense. We believe that more deficit reduction should come from top-end tax increases, and more savings should come from Defense than the president suggests, but at least he puts them on the table, rather than excluding them as the Republican plan would do”

Borosage added, “The president emphasized sensibly that any deficit reduction plan must be concerned about sustaining the economy as it struggles to recover from the Great Recession. But the agreement to cut $38 billion in spending this year and his acceptance that we must begin sharp reductions next year are mistaken concessions.”

Hickey said, “We still have 25 million Americans in need of full-time work. This is the time for more public investment to put people to work, not for a premature turn towards austerity. The so-called Gang of Six proposal would kill jobs at a time when we are still climbing out of a recession. The best way to trim the deficit is to create jobs and stimulate economic growth.”