Sunday Soup: Obama to Speak on Deficit, Propose Tax Hike on Rich

Fresh from the deal with House Republicans that averted a government shutdown, President Obama will deliver a major speech this week about reducing deficit spending and whittling down the national debt, senior adviser David Plouffe said Sunday morning as he made the rounds of political talk shows.

Obama will address cuts to both domestic and military spending and also what to do with the increasingly expensive entitlement programs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, Plouffe said on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley.

“We have got to make sure we take a balanced approach to this,” Plouffe said. It can’t “all be on the backs of seniors and the middle class,” he told Crowley.

The president’s speech is scheduled for Wednesday.

Though the White House and House Republicans managed to reach agreement on a budget for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year, the nation is rapidly approaching the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, expected to be reached in May. In addition, debate will be starting over the 2012 budget, which Republicans kicked off last week with a proposal to cut $6 trillion in spending over 10 years, including converting Medicare from a federal-paid entitlement to a voucher system for private health-insurance policies.

Plouffe, who was Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, joined the White House in January as senior advisor to the president.

He said on NBC’s Meet the Press that Obama planned to renew his fight for the expiration of the President George W. Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Plouffe said Obama would make that case during his Wednesday deficit speech.

Obama will say that “people like him…who’ve been very fortunate in life, have the ability to pay a little more,” Plouffe said.

Obama and congressional Republicans agreed to a two-year extension of those lower rates in December to avoid having the Bush tax cuts expire for all taxpayers.

Overall, House Speaker John Boehner (R.,Ohio) got credit as a big winner in the budget showdown that was resolved just before the midnight deadline Saturday. He held together his fractious Republican caucus and enabled the deal to be done setting funding levels for the next six months.

Here’s a roundtable of journalists on Amanapour’s show talking over the resolution to the crisis: George Will, Donna Brazille, Chrystia Freedland and Ron Brownstein.

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