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Obama Deficit Speech Open Thread; Updated

By Doug Powers  •  April 13, 2011 01:46 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

I won’t be where I’ll be able to watch President Obama’s deficit reduction speech, so I’ll have to catch it later (no, I’m not in a bar this time, I swear). Feel free to discuss it amongst yourselves — or talk about baseball or something if you’d rather. The speech is being streamed here.

Reuters reports that Obama will target a $4 trillion cut in the deficit over the next 12 years (I wonder how much that will cost). The first thing that should let America know the Democrats (and too many Republicans) are serious about reeling in the deficit is their insistence upon raising the debt ceiling yet again. Somehow we’ll never be able to get out of this debt mess if we don’t keep raising the ceiling. Go figure.

Other goals that will be spelled out on the teleprompter, according to Reuters, will be…

* Curbing deficits to 2.5 percent of GDP in 2015, 2 percent toward the end of the decade

* Ending Bush-era tax rates for the wealthiest Americans

* Seeking $770 billion in savings by 2023 in cuts to non-security discretionary spending

* Saving $480 billion in Medicare and Medicaid by 2023 and at least $1 trillion more by 2033.

Trillions in cuts? Last week in Congress and at the White House there was human sacrifice, dogs & cats living together and mass hysteria over cutting just $38 billion in spending. The elderly were going to starve — remember that? These are the people who are now going to cut trillions?

One thing’s nearly for certain: The second item on that list — tax increases for the wealthy — is where the debt reduction push will begin, and perhaps end.

Update: Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has more on Obama’s speech about his plan to cut the deficit: Spending, Obamacare and tax hikes. Yep, that sounds about right.

Update II: Transcript is here. The “predictable as the sun rising in the east” part was, of course, the obligatory Bush blame:

To give you an idea of how much damage this caused to our national checkbook, consider this: in the last decade, if we had simply found a way to pay for the tax cuts and the prescription drug benefit, our deficit would currently be at low historical levels in the coming years.

Also, tax increases are referred to as “spending reductions in tax code.” Very creative.

Update III: The Right Sphere has the unofficial Tea Party/conservative response to today’s speech.

Update IV: Shh, don’t wake Joe Biden.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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