President Obama began the first of a three-day tour touting his plan to reduce the deficit. This morning, he spoke at the Northern Virginia Community College-Annandale.
At his event titled "Shared Responsibility and Shared Prosperity," the president highlighted his proposal to cut $4 trillion from the budget in the next 12 years. To a room full of college students and professors, Obama said "shared sacrifice" is necessary to bring down the deficit.
He said the "wealthiest Americans" should see a tax increase and that wasteful and ineffective programs should be cut from domestic and defense spending. But he said investments must be made in areas of transportation infrastructure, energy and education. He also said Medicare and Medicaid must be strengthened.
His budget proposal cuts non-security discretionary spending by $770 billion, reduces security spending by $400 billion and raises an additional $1 trillion dollars in taxes. His plan also aims to save $480 billion from Medicare and Medicaid.
Comparing his plan to the budget the Republican-led House of Representatives passed last week, President Obama said, "The debate isn't about whether we reduce the deficit, it's about how we reduce the deficit."
The Republican budget cuts up to $6 trillion dollars over the next decade by cutting spending and shrinking Medicare and Medicaid.
President Obama will continue his town hall tour on Wednesday. He will travel to California where he will hold a forum via Facebook at the social media website's headquarters in Palo Alto. Thursday he will host another event in Reno, Nevada.
The Washington Journal continued its week-long special coverage of the budget debate. The Journal is focusing on a deficit-reducing proposal released by the bi-partisan fiscal commission last December.
Their plan, called "The Moment of Truth," cuts $4 trillion by cutting spending, raising revenue, and reforming entitlements.
This morning, the Washington Journal focused on the commission's proposals for Medicare and Medicaid by speaking with Marilyn Sarafini with Kaiser Health News.
Also on the Washington Journal, Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund discussed Standard & Poor's Ratings Service lowering its long-term outlook for the United States' sovereign debt to "Negative" from "Stable" due to risks from the country's growing deficit.