Plouffe, Cantor Talk Spending Cuts
The president will outline a plan to reduce the debt this week that will address its biggest driver: entitlements. The president will lay out his approach this week in terms of the scale of debt reduction he thinks the country needs so we can grow economically and win the future, a balanced approach, White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe said on Fox News Sunday. Anchor Chris Wallace asked whether the president will address Medicare and Medicaid to which Plouffe said yes. On raising taxes, the president believes the wealthy need to contribute to the deficit reduction in this country, rescinding the Bush tax cuts for upper income wage earners will be part of his approach Plouffe said. The presidents adviser criticized the Republican budget plan for asking more of seniors, of middle class, of the poor, cut things like education, in exchange for what he characterized as giving tax cuts to millionaires. Plouffe said the president feels comfortable with the spending deal the White House, Senate Democrats and House Republicans reached over the weekend because it "preserves our ability to invest at the level we need to things like research, development, education, that he wasn't playing politics on issues like Planned Parenthood and family planning, but does cut spending in a serious way. When asked about the fact that just weeks ago Democrats were characterizing spending cuts of this size of as draconian and extreme and radical, Plouffe said there were some cuts and there are actual cuts that were radical and draconian. They're not in the final package. The White House may be comfortable with the spending deal but it is clear some on the left are not. Robert Reich, President Bill Clinton's former secretary of labor, tweeted about the deal: "The Prez and Ds caved in, endangering the recovery, and strengthening the right-wing bullies, a tactical win for Prez and strategic loss." It's a victory for the American people, Plouffe responded, adding, You can't look at adoption of any spending cuts as someone, you know, you're embracing Republican orthodoxy. The next spending battle Washington faces is whether to raise the debt limit. Republicans have already said they are expecting concrete plans to reduce the debt in exchange for a vote to raise it. Plouffe said, We should not be playing brinkmanship with the full faith and credit of the United States. So all the leaders in Washington have said clearly we're not going to default on the debt limit. We can't do that. So it would be the fiscal crisis we went in 2008 and 2009. Asked about then-Senator Barack Obamas vote against raising the debt limit in 2006, Plouffe said, He believes that vote was a mistake. "
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) responded to Plouffes insistence that the presidents focus has always beenon cutting spending. I sit here and I listen to David Plouffe talk about, you know, their commitment to cut spending and knowing full well that for the last two months, we've had to bring this president kicking and screaming to the table to cut spending, Cantor said, adding, I then hear they're going to present a plan as far as how to address the fiscal situation. So, on one hand, we're going to defend that tax agreement but then go ahead and violate it." The House Majority Leader said of the White Houses shift in strategy, I have to believe that the president and the White House are beginning to sense the American people get it. You know, we have a fiscal train wreck before us. And unless we act, and act deliberately, we're not going to enable our kids to have what we have. It's plain and simple as that. Cantor pointed to the Ryan budget plan and said it lays out our plan of how we're going to address the fiscal challenges of our country. Anchor Chris Wallace asked whether Republicans areprepared to take on entitlements, as laid out in the Ryan plan, in the face of the elections next fall. Cantor said yes, adding what we've said is this: we're going to protect today's seniors and those nearing retirement. But for the rest of us, all of us who are 54 and younger, I know those programs are not going to be there for me when I retire, just like everyone else 54 and younger. They can't. We cannot sustain that kind of trajectory.