They are reforms that keep the promise we made to our seniors -- basic security that is rock-solid and dependable and there for you when you need it. That’s what my budget represents.
OBAMA: My budget does also contain the compromise I offered Speaker Boehner at the end of last year, including reforms championed by Republican leaders in Congress. And I don’t believe that all these ideas are optimal, but I’m willing to accept them as part of a compromise, if and only if they contain protections for the most vulnerable Americans.
But, if we’re serious about deficit reduction then these reforms have to go hand in hand with reforming our tax code to make it more simple and more fair so that the wealthiest individuals and biggest corporations cannot keep taking advantage of loopholes and deductions that most Americans don’t get.
That’s the bottom line.
If you’re serious about deficit reduction then there’s no excuse to keep these loopholes open. They don’t serve an economic purpose. They don’t grow our economy. They don’t put people back to work. All they do is to allow folks who are already well off and well connected game the system.
And if anyone thinks I’ll finish the job of deficit reduction on the backs of middle class families or through spending cuts alone that actually hurt our economy short term, they should think again. When it comes to deficit reduction, I’ve already met Republicans more than halfway. So, in the coming days and weeks, I hope that Republicans will come forward and demonstrate that they’re really as serious -- as serious about the deficits and debt as they claim to be.
OBAMA: So, growing our economy, creating jobs, shrinking our deficits, keeping our promise to the generation that made us great, but also investing in the next generation, the next generation that’ll make us even greater. These are not conflicting goals. We can do them in concert. That’s what my budget does. That’s why I’m so grateful for the great work that Jeff Zients and his team have done in shaping this budget. The numbers work. There’s not a lot of smoke and mirrors in here.
And if we can come together, have a serious, reasoned debate, not driven by politics, and come together around common sense and compromise, then I’m confident we’ll move this country forward and leave behind something better for our children. That’s our task.
Thank you. God bless you. God bless the United States of America.
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