By Erik Wasson - 09/08/11 11:20 PM EDT
Obama also revealed that on Sept. 19 he will reveal an “ambitious deficit plan” spelling out the deficit grand bargain he has been talking about for months.
“[A] week from Monday, I’ll be releasing a more ambitious deficit plan — a plan that will not only cover the cost of this jobs bill, but stabilize our debt in the long run,” he said.
Obama said the plan will include cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, something that faces huge resistance in his party, and tax increases on the wealthy.
He said “it’s a balanced plan that would reduce the deficit by making additional spending cuts; by making modest adjustments to healthcare programs like Medicare and Medicaid; and by reforming our tax code in a way that asks the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to pay their fair share.”
“Now, I realize there are some in my party who don’t think we should make any changes at all to Medicare and Medicaid, and I understand their concerns,” Obama added. “If we don’t gradually reform the system while protecting current beneficiaries, it won’t be there when future retirees need it. We have to reform Medicare to strengthen it.”
The supercommittee created by legislation in August that raised the nation's debt ceiling is charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts. It held its first meeting on Thursday, and is to offer a plan by Thanksgiving.