President Barack Obama launched another attack on Tuesday this time on congressional Republicans for their budget proposal calling it “social Darwinism” that would stifle the American dream. The attack came a day after comments by the president seen by many as a veiled threat towards the Supreme Court in their consideration of his controversial Obamacare legislation.
In a speech to a media luncheon, Obama described the measure produced by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and passed by the House as a “Trojan Horse” that is disguised as a deficit reduction plan but actually imposes a “radical vision.” The speech like the previous month was aimed to coincide with a big Republican primary day however, it also marked 1,070 days since the Democratic controlled Senate led by Senator Harry Reid – Arizona last passed a budget.
President Obama in his comments described the GOP budget proposal as “Thinly-veiled Social Darwinism, It is antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone 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.”
He added that “by gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last — education and training; research and development; infrastructure — it’s a prescription for decline.”
The remarks by President Obama’s coincided with GOP Front runner – Mitt Romney was set to sweep to three primary victories in the GOP race and appears ever more likely to be President Obama’s challenger in November’s election. For the first time this year, Obama mentioned the former Massachusetts governor by name in a speech, noting Romney’s support for the Ryan budget plan.
“One of my potential opponents, Gov. Romney, has said that he hoped a similar version of this plan from last year would be introduced on day one of his presidency,” Obama said. “He said that he’s very supportive of this new budget and he even called it marvelous, which is a word you don’t often hear when it comes to describing a budget.”
Ryan and other Republican leaders immediately criticized the Obama speech as a politically motivated appeal to populism, rather than a serious approach to budget deficits. This point will not escape many observers who have grown increasingly concerned at the out of control spending and annual trillion dollar deficit’s under the Obama Administration.
“History will not be kind to a president who, when it came time to confront our generation’s defining challenge, chose to duck and run,” Ryan said in a statement. “The president refuses to take responsibility for the economy and refuses to offer a credible plan to address the most predictable economic crisis in our history. Instead, he has chosen tired and cynical political attacks as he focuses on his own re-election.”
According to Ryan, Obama used his speech to “distort the truth and divide Americans in order to distract from his failed record.”
Obama, however, blamed a polarized political climate for an inability to make progress on such key issues as deficit reduction and entitlement reform, arguing that Republicans have shifted to the right and dropped support for moderate proposals acceptable to Democrats.
“The problem right now is not the technical means to solve it. The problem is our politics, and that’s part of what this election and what this debate will need to be about,” Obama said in response to a question at the end. “Are we, as a country, willing to get back to commonsense, balanced, fair solutions that encourage our long-term economic growth and stabilize our budget?”
He repeated his longstanding support for a balanced approach to deficit reduction that includes increased tax revenue through higher rates on the wealthy.
Obama again called for adoption of the so-called Buffett rule, a proposal that would have all Americans making more than $1 million pay at least a 30% tax rate. The Senate is expected to vote on a form of the proposal named for billionaire Warren Buffett, who has complained that the current tax code allows him to pay a lower tax rate than his secretary.
The president has increasingly attempted to frame the upcoming election as one of choice between his policies against the Republican’s who want to cut spending and lower taxes to bring the deficit under control and stimulate economic growth. The devil is in the detail as they say, the truth is that the majority of President Obama’s major policy initiatives to date, have either being shrouded in controversy, or failed to deliver the results he promised. President Obama is entering the campaign run-in with a distinct lack of proven success from his first term in office and his only chance of winning a second term is to portray the other option as an even worse option. How many American’s would have expected this as a real choice four years ago? You cannot grow an economy when the leader of your nation attacks business leaders at every speech and fundraiser he gives that is the harsh reality.
The most concerning aspect of President Obama’s term in office is his failure to deliver in his promise to unite Americans, any independent observer or commentator will find it hard to recall a time in recent history when the nation was more divided than it is at present.
President Obama enjoyed control of the Senate and House of Representatives in his first two years in office. He made the fundamental error of not focussing on sorting out the troubled economy then instead choosing to push through ill thought out and considered healthcare legislation that many believe was dictated by then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.