"The way this plan achieves those goals would lead to a fundamentally differentAmerica than the one we've known certainly in my lifetime," Obama said, callingtheir plan "deeply pessimistic."
He suggested Republicans were giving up on basicfunctions of government.
"It's a vision that says if our roads crumble and our bridges collapse, we can'tafford to ﬁx them. If there are bright young Americans who have the drive and thewill but not the money to go to college, we can't afford to send them," Obama saidof the Republican plan. "It's a vision that says America can't afford to keep thepromise we've made to care for our seniors."The president's proposal would deal with entitlements like Medicare and Medicaid,but avoid the major changes being pushed by Ryan. The president opposes turningMedicaid into a block-grant program for states and making Medicare seniorspurchase government-subsidized insurance, as Ryan proposed. Rather, he vowed tomake other changes he claims will extract more than $300 billion in savings fromthose Medicare and Medicaid over the next decade. Plus he pushed cuts indiscretionary spending, including to defense.
The president drew several lines in the sand, as the latest round of the budgetdebate gets underway. Accusing Republicans of cutting services to seniors andpoor children while cutting taxes for the rich, Obama said: "That's not right, andthat's not going to happen as long as I'm president."
The White House, instead, has called for a "balance" between cuts and changes tothe tax code. Though the administration refers to this as "tax reform," the planincludes a call for rolling back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy -- meaning a taxhike for households making more than $250,000.
Republicans and Democrats had agreed to extend all the Bush tax cuts for twoyears, but Obama said Wednesday, "I refuse to renew them again" for the wealthy.