Today, President Obama made his populist pitch to the American people. He proposed $1.5 trillion in new tax revenues, targeting people making over a million bucks a year. Major hat tip to Warren Buffett here, as the White House dubbed this The Buffett Rule. This plan would be part of a total 10-year deficit reduction package, netting the government more than $3 trillion.
"We can't just cut our way out of this hole," the president said during his speech in the Rose Garden.
Obama vowed to veto any bill that cuts Medicare benefits without raising taxes on the big corporations and the extremely wealthy. Under this plan, "rich" is defined by individuals who make more than $200,000 per year and families who make more than $250,000 per year.
Obama denied a case of class warfare. "It's math. The money is going to have to come from someplace," said Obama.
The president says the money flow would come by letting the Bush tax cuts expire for these high-income earners, cuts to entitlement programs and withdrawing troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Republican presidential candidates fired back in predictable fashion: Tax increases kill jobs.
Mitt Romney released a statement reading, "President Obama's plan to raise taxes will have a crushing impact on economic growth. Higher taxes mean fewer jobs — it's that simple."
And Rick Perry responded, "President Obama's plan is a bait and switch that offers more than a trillion dollars in higher taxes for a promise of temporary tax relief. The president penalizes investment when it is needed most, discourages charitable giving and doubles down on a failed government stimulus strategy."
Obama presented his debt reduction plan in an either or scenario. "Either we ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share in taxes, or we're going to have to ask seniors to pay more for Medicare."