But with Bush-era tax cuts set to expire at the end of 2012 and with deep defense cuts scheduled to take effect in 2013 if the joint committee fails to act, Obama set down clear lines for next year's elections. And by threatening to veto Medicare benefit cuts that aren't paired with tax increases, he raised the pressure on the committee to include revenues in its plan.
"I will not support any plan that puts all the burden for closing our deficit on ordinary Americans," he said.
The plan represents Obama's opening bid in the debate. Administration officials say he is not taking other deficit reduction measures, including a gradual increase in the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67, off the table. In deficit reduction negotiations in July with Boehner that centered on raising the nation's borrowing capacity, Obama had agreed to such an age increase. But other Democrats objected loudly and said it would neutralize their criticism of a Republican plan to overhaul Medicare.
The core of the president's plan totals just over $2 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years. It would let Bush-era tax cuts for upper income earners expire, limit deductions for wealthier filers and close loopholes and end some corporate tax breaks. It also would trim mandatory programs, including Medicare. And it would target subsidies for farmers and retirement benefits for federal employees.
Officials cast Obama's plan as his vision for deficit reduction, and distinguished it from the negotiations he had with Boehner in July as Obama sought to avoid a government default. Those talks failed, but resulted in an agreement to trim $1 trillion from government programs.
Democrats, who had warily watched as Obama negotiated with Boehner, cheered the president's tough talk on Monday.
"The president put down a marker today, and he did it in terms more forceful than we have seen from him before," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
Key features of Obama's plan:
$1.5 trillion in new revenue, which would include about $800 billion over 10 years from repealing the Bush-era tax rates for couples making more than $250,000. It also would place limits on deductions for wealthy filers and end certain corporate loopholes and subsidies for oil and gas companies.
$580 billion in cuts in mandatory benefit programs, including $248 billion in Medicare and $72 billion in Medicaid and other health programs. Other mandatory benefit programs include farm subsidies and federal employee retirement benefits. The plan would reduce federal workers' paychecks by 1.2 percent over three years, saving the government about $21 billion over 10 years.
$430 billion in savings from lower interest payment on the national debt.
The GOP has ridiculed the war savings as gimmicky, but House Republicans included them in their budget proposal this year and Boehner had agreed to count them as savings during his debt ceiling negotiations with the president this summer.
- World Humanitarian Summit opens in Istanbul...
- Insect poop threatens to damage marble at...
- Eurozone survey points to faltering economic...
- Yemen suicide attacks kill at least 45 army...
- Multiple blasts in Syria government...
- Police, soldiers swarm Mexico's Acapulco,...
- Ex-spellers remain involved with National...
- Ahead of Cosby hearing, excerpts from...
- Anti-Trump protests turn violent... 47
- Why the University of Miami plans to... 43
- Clinton faulted on emails by State... 40
- Utah and 10 states sue Obama... 35
- Are Utahns tiring of Mitt Romney... 35
- Delegates in hand, Trump says he's got... 33
- Obama: World leaders rightfully... 29
- In Hiroshima, Obama honors 'silent cry'... 20