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The Citizen


By Khaleel Seecharan, News Writer, MC/MPA ‘12

Last month, President Obama proposed a ten-year plan aimed at shaving of $3 trillion dollars of the United States deficit.  Coming on the heels of the acrimonious debt ceiling agreement that paralyzed the nation over the summer, Obama hopes to submit this plan to the bi-partisan committee that was created to work towards a firm debt reduction course of action by December 23rd.  If an agreement is not reached by December 23rd, $1.2 million in cuts will occur regardless what Obama’s plan outlines as a result of the debt ceiling agreement.

Obama’s plan is the first salvo in what is expected to be a contentious debate between Democrats and Republicans that must be resolved over the next few months. In presenting the plan, President Obama said “I will veto any bill that changes benefits for those who rely on Medicare but does not raise serious revenues by asking the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to pay their fair share. We are not going to have a one-sided deal that hurts the folks who are most vulnerable.”

The Citizen has compiled a list of key initiatives from the plan that are sure to come under contentious debate on Capitol Hill in the months to come:

  • $1.5 trillion of tax increases combined with $1.5 trillion of spending cuts/savings for a total debt reduction of $3 trillion.
  • Creation of the so-called “Buffett Rule” – named after the pro-tax billionaire Warren Buffett – which holds that “no person should pay less in income taxes than his or her secretary.”  In practice, this will result in the creation of a new tax bracket for households that earn more than $1 million in annual income.
  • The expiration of tax cuts introduced during the Bush presidency and the restructuring of tax deductions for families making more than $250,000 annually or individuals making more than $200,000 annually.
  • $500 billion set aside for job creations to stimulate a struggling economy.
  • Adjustments to Medicare, Medicaid, agriculture subsidies, and federal retirement programs.
  • Savings from the planned ending of the Iraq and Afghanistan military engagements.