(CNSNews.com) - Speaking to the American Society of Newspaper Editors at a luncheon in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, President Barack Obama accused the Republican-controlled House of Representatives of attempting “to impose a radical vision on our country” through the budget proposal it passed last week.
The speech followed thematically on the address Obama delivered at a campaign event in Vermont on Friday, where he argued that “you’re-on-your-own economics” has not worked in the United States, called for more redistribution of wealth, and declared: “I am my brother’s keeper.”
In this last phrase, Obama was alluding to the book of Genesis, in which Cain, after killing his brother Abel, tells God: "Am I my brother's keeper?"
“This congressional Republican budget is something different altogether,” Obama told the newspaper editors. “It is a Trojan Horse. Disguised as deficit reduction plans, it is really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country.
“It is thinly veiled social Darwinism,” Obama said. “It is antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everybody who’s willing to work for it; a place where prosperity doesn’t trickle down from the top, but grows outward from the heart of the middle class. And by gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last--education and training, research and development, our infrastructure -- it is a prescription for decline.”
The budget the Republican House passed last Thursday, according to Congressional Quarterly Today, would spend $5 trillion less over the next 10 years than President Obama proposed and flattens income taxes to two rates, 10 percent and 25 percent.
Obama in his address to the newspaper editors attacked the notion that excessive government regulation and taxation is hindering job growth in the United States.
“They keep telling us that if we’d just strip away more regulations, and let businesses pollute more and treat workers and consumers with impunity, that somehow we’d all be better off,” said Obama. “We’re told that when the wealthy become even wealthier, and corporations are allowed to maximize their profits by whatever means necessary, it’s good for America, and that their success will automatically translate into more jobs and prosperity for everybody else. That’s the theory.”
Obama painted a picture of America where Republicans in government have failed to use government to stop “insurance companies or credit card companies or mortgage lenders” from taking “advantage” of American citizens, while recklessly handing out tax cuts to the “wealthiest.”
“So we tried this theory out,” said Obama. “And you would think that after the results of this experiment in trickle-down economics, after the results were made painfully clear, that the proponents of this theory might show some humility, might moderate their views a bit. You'd think they’d say, you know what, maybe some rules and regulations are necessary to protect the economy and prevent people from being taken advantage of by insurance companies or credit card companies or mortgage lenders. Maybe, just maybe, at a time of growing debt and widening inequality, we should hold off on giving the wealthiest Americans another round of big tax cuts.”
Obama sarcastically said that the new Republican budget made the Contract With America “look like the New Deal.”
“But that’s exactly the opposite of what they’ve done,” said Obama. “Instead of moderating their views even slightly, the Republicans running Congress right now have doubled down, and proposed a budget so far to the right it makes the Contract with America look like the New Deal. In fact, that renowned liberal, Newt Gingrich, first called the original version of the budget "radical" and said it would contribute to ‘right-wing social engineering.’ This is coming from Newt Gingrich.”
Gingrich’s remark about right-wing social engineering, which he made on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” had been specifically about House Budget Chairman Ryan’s long-term Medicare reform proposal.
“And yet, this isn’t a budget supported by some small rump group in the Republican Party. This is now the party’s governing platform,” Obama said. “This is what they’re running on. One of my potential opponents, Governor Romney, has said that he hoped a similar version of this plan from last year would be introduced as a bill on day one of his presidency. He said that he’s “very supportive” of this new budget, and he even called it "marvelous.”
Since Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009, the federal deficit has grown by roughly $5 trillion—more than it grew under all presidents from George Washington through George H.W. Bush.