By HELENE COOPER, New York Times, published: September 18, 2011
First half of the article reads as follows. (Click here for complete New York Times article including Republican claims of class warfare.)
(I would argue from the left that Pres. Barack Obama's Medicare, Medicaid cuts are class warfare; the Republican right call Obama's tax policies class warfare. The problem is that we have no left third party to challenge him.)
WASHINGTON — President Obama will unveil a deficit-reduction plan on Monday that uses entitlement cuts, tax increases and war savings to reduce government spending by more than $3 trillion over the next 10 years, administration officials said.
The plan, which Mr. Obama will lay out Monday morning at the White House, is the administration’s opening move in sweeping negotiations on deficit reduction to be taken up by a joint House-Senate committee over the next two months. If a deal is not struck by Dec. 23, cuts could take effect automatically across government agencies.
Mr. Obama will call for $1.5 trillion in tax increases, primarily on the wealthy, through a combination of closing loopholes and limiting the amount that high earners can deduct. 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.
Senior administration officials who briefed reporters on some of the details of Mr. Obama’s proposal said that the plan also counts a savings of $1.1 trillion from the ending of the American combat mission in Iraq and the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.
In laying out his proposal, aides said, Mr. Obama will expressly promise to veto any legislation that seeks to cut the deficit through spending cuts alone and does not include revenue increases in the form of tax increases on the wealthy.
That veto threat will put the president on a direct collision course with the House speaker, John A. Boehner, who said last week that he would not support any legislation that included revenue increases in the form of higher taxes.
Mr. Obama’s proposal is certain to receive sharp criticism from Congressional Republicans, who on Sunday were already taking apart one element of the proposal that the administration let out early: the so-called Buffett Rule. The rule — named for the billionaire investor Warren E. Buffett, who has complained that he is taxed at a lower rate than his employees — calls for a new minimum tax rate for individuals making more than $1 million a year to ensure that they pay at least the same percentage of their earnings as middle-income taxpayers.
That proposal, which was disclosed on Saturday, was met with derision Sunday by Republican lawmakers, who said it amounted to “class warfare” and a political tactic intended to portray his opponents as indifferent to the hardships facing middle-class Americans.