UPDATE: As promised, President Obama made his case Monday morning for his $3-trillion deficit-reduction plan that would increase taxes on the nation's wealthy.
"This is not class warfare -- it's math," he said from the Rose Garden.
"The money has to come from some place," Obama continued. "If we're not willing to ask those who have done extraordinarily well [to do a little more], the math says everybody else has to do a lot more."
A few more pull quotes:
--"We can’t just cut our way out of this hole.”
--"I will not support any plan that puts all the burden for closing our deficit on ordinary Americans."
--"All I’m saying is, those who have done well, including me, should pay our fair share.”
UPDATE Monday 9:35 a.m. The White House has leaked a few more details about the broad deficit-reduction plan that President Obama will layout Monday. The big takeaway is the projected savings: $3 trillion over the next 10 years through a combination of entitlement cuts, tax increases and war savings.
According to administration officials who briefed reporters ahead of the rollout, half of that total will come through tax increases, primarily on the nation's wealthy. But the president will also propose eliminating or scaling back a wide range of tax loopholes and deduction in order to reach $1.5 trillion in new revenues. Roughly half of the tax savings would come from next year's expiration of the tax cuts for the wealthy implemented by George W. Bush.
The New York Times with more on the numbers: "The proposal also includes $580 billion in adjustments to health and entitlement programs, including $248 billion to Medicare and $72 billion to Medicaid. Administration officials said that the Medicare cuts would not come from an increase in the Medicare eligibility age."
The Washington Post on what it all means: "The proposal draws a sharp contrast with Republicans and amounts more to an opening play in the fall debate over the economy than another attempt to find common ground with the opposing party."
Politico on the politics of Obama's proposal: "His proposal forces Republicans to side with corporations and the wealthy, sidesteps the most controversial remedies for overhauling Medicare and Social Security, and offers up a populist-sounding 'Buffett Rule,' which would prohibit millionaires from paying a lower tax rate than middle-class Americans."
POST Sunday 9:49 a.m.: In a broad plan for deficit reduction that he plans to roll out Monday, President Obama will argue for a new minimum tax rate for those making more than $1 million. And yes, he’s going to call it the “Buffett Rule.”
Administration officials tell the New York Times that the plan is an effort to make sure those with a high income, including from investments, pay the same percentage of their earnings as middle-income taxpayers. Currently investment earnings are taxed at a lower rate than wages, leaving some of the country’s wealthiest to pay a lower rate than many in the middle class.
There’s no word yet on how much such a change in tax would raise, but for some it will likely be a welcome bit of populism in a debt debate that has seen Republican leaders refusing to move on reducing debt by raising tax revenues. Last week, House Speaker John Boehner said that tax increases were not “a viable option” for the six-person joint congressional committee working on a plan for reducing the nation’s debt.
The proposed rate, according to members of the administration, would impact 0.3 percent of current taxpayers—450,000 of some of the 144 million returns filed in 2010. Some expect the proposal is meant to get some movement from GOP members on revenues in return for possible future cuts to social programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
In an August Op-Ed for the Times, Buffett said that it was time to stop “coddling” the very wealthy, suggesting that it was time for those who “make money with money” to pay a fair tax share in comparison to those who earn money from working a job.
Republicans shot back on Sunday; Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., said on Fox News Sunday, "Class warfare might make for good politics, but it makes for bad economics."