Obama: Next Debt Deal Must Include Tax Hikes, ‘Everyone Is Going to Have to Chip In’

August 2, 2011 - 4:58 PM

Washington (CNSNews.com) – Moments after the Senate today passed the largest debt ceiling increase in history, up to $2.4 trillion, President Barack Obama said tax increases should accompany any future spending cuts, adding that "everyone is going to have to chip in."

This comes after Obama and Senate Democrats failed in their push to get tax hikes attached to the $2.1 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years, in two phases, as part of the current debt deal.

“Since you can’t close the deficit with just spending cuts, we'll need a balanced approach where everything is on the table,” Obama said in a Rose Garden speech on Tuesday.

The president also acknowledged the need for entitlement reform.

“Yes, that means making some adjustments to protect health care programs like Medicare so they’re there for future generations,” said Obama.  “It also means reforming our tax code so that the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations pay their fair share. and it means getting rid of taxpayer subsidies to oil and gas companies, tax loopholes that help billionaires pay a lower tax rate than teachers and nurses.”

He continued, “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we can’t balance the budget on the backs of the very people who have borne the brunt of this recession. We can’t make it tougher for young people to go to college or ask seniors to pay more for health care or ask scientists to give up on promising medical research because we couldn’t close a tax shelter for the most fortunate among us. Everyone is going to have to chip in.”

The House passed the debt-ceiling compromise on Monday evening, which will added an expected  $2.4 trillion to the already existing national debt of $14.29 trillion.

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President Barack Obama. (AP Photo)

The legislation cuts discretionary spending at $917 billion over 10 years and raises the debt ceiling by $900 billion between now February 2012. Before the debt ceiling is increased by an additional $1.5 trillion to cover federal spending through 2012, Congress and the president must agree to an additional $1.5 trillion in cuts over 10 years – the cuts must be greater than the debt limit increase.

The $1.5 trillion (or more) in spending cuts are to be decided by a 12-member bipartisan, bicameral congressional committee by Nov. 23, 2011. Both the House and the Senate would have to give an up or down vote to the additional cuts recommended by the committee by Dec. 23, 2011.

If the committee fails to achieve the $1.5 trillion in cuts, an “enforcement mechanism” will trigger spending reductions to apply between fiscal years 2013 and 2021, split 50-50 between domestic and defense spending. The enforcement would not affect Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries, but could affect Medicare payments to doctors.

The agreement also requires both the House and Senate to vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution before the end of the year.