It took about two minutes after the conclusion of President Obama’s deficit reduction speech for Pennsylvania Senator and super committee member Pat Toomey to share his critique.
“It is reassuring to hear that the president recognizes that we have a severe debt problem in this country, and I’m sure that the Select Committee will consider his proposals among many others,” said Senator Toomey.
The president’s plan features tools to reduce the federal deficit by $3 trillion over the next ten years including entitlement reforms, tax increases and war savings. The tax increases call for an additional $1.5 trillion, primarily from the exceptionally wealthy. Billions will come from the readjustment of health care and entitlement plans. Medicare will be affected but administration officials say that there will not be an age increase as a part of this plan. Additional savings will come from American withdraws from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The plan will be reviewed by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction but President Obama has already pledged to veto any bill that reduces the deficit through spending cuts alone. This contrasts sharply with House Speaker John Boehner’s promise not to vote for any legislation that raises taxes.
Some plan must be enacted before December 23, or sweeping government cuts will automatically take effect but Senator Toomey remains confident in the capabilities of the committee.
“I am concerned that his deficit reduction strategy sometimes seems more defined by political posturing, such as recycling tax hikes that even lawmakers in his own party have publicly opposed. With the Select Committee’s deadline looming, we do not have time to waste on political games and pushing big tax increases that will only make our economy weaker for all Americans. I remain firmly committed to working with my fellow members of the Select Committee to produce a proposal that reduces our deficits and encourages economic growth and job creation.”