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President Obama tells Virginia students U.S. has 'got to end tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans'

  US President Barack Obama speaks at a town hall meeting on the national debt and deficit April 19, 2011 at the Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Virginia.

President Obama participated in a town hall meeting Tuesday at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va. He spoke on a variety of topics ranging from healthcare to gasoline prices, and taxes. He answered questions from students and teachers who were concerned about education costs and bickering on Capital Hill.

One of the long-standing features of The Ticket is providing transcripts of the President and other White House officials unadulterated from comment. 

Below are some snippets of the president's comments in Virginia today.

Taxes:

Now, we just had Tax Day. Nobody wants to pay taxes.  Let me tell you, I looked at my tax form and I thought, 'Hmm' -- there is a moment there where you look at the figure you’re paying and you say, 'Wow, I don’t -- let me think about my position on taxing the wealthy here'. I understand that.  Nobody volunteers and says, 'Boy, I’m just wild to pay more taxes'.  But it’s a matter of values and what we prioritize.  And I certainly don’t think my taxes should be even lower.  That’s -- I think America wants a smart government.  It wants a lean government.  It wants a accountable government.  But we don’t want no government. 

Tax cuts for the rich:

And we’ve also got to end tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. (Applause.) Let me say, this is not because we want to punish success. I suspect there are a bunch of young people in this gym that are going to end up being wealthy, and that’s good. We want you to. We want you to be able to go out there and start a business and create jobs and put other people to work. That’s the American way. But we are going to have to ask everybody to sacrifice. And if we’re asking community colleges to sacrifice, if we’re asking people who are going to see potentially fewer services in their neighborhoods to make a little sacrifice, then we can ask millionaires and billionaires to make a little sacrifice.

How he differs from Republicans on transportation:

According to the Republican budget that was passed, for example, we would have to eliminate transportation funding by a third.  We’d have to cut transporting funding by a third.  You remember when that bridge in Minnesota collapsed with all those people on it?  And there was a big hue and cry:  How can this happen in America?  Well, the National Society of Engineers, they’ve looked around and they give us a 'D' when it comes to infrastructure.  Our roads, our bridges, our sewer systems are all deteriorating. 

We don’t even have a serious high-speed rail infrastructure in this country.  Our broadband lines are slower than places like South Korea.  Well, so what, we cut transportation by another third, and what’s going to happen to America?  We’re just going to have potholes everywhere?  (Laughter.)  We’re just going to have bridges collapsing everywhere?  Are we going to continue to have airports that are substandard? 

How he differs from Republicans on Medicare:

The House Republicans just passed a proposal, and their main plan to reduce our long-term deficits and debt is to turn Medicare into a voucher program. What would happen would be that right now seniors, when they get -- once they’re on Medicare, you basically are able to get the care that you need and Medicare covers it for you. What would happen under this proposal is you’d get a set amount of money; you could then go out under the private market place and buy insurance, but if the voucher you were getting for $6,000 or $7,000 and the insurance company said it’s going to cost you $12,000, well, you’re going to have to make up that difference.

And so it’s estimated by the Congressional Budget Office, which is an independent, bipartisan sort of referee in Congress that determines these things -- they figure that seniors would end up paying twice as much for their healthcare as they are currently. At least twice as much. And more importantly, it would get worse over time, because healthcare inflation goes up a lot faster than regular inflation. So your healthcare costs keep on going up and up and up; the voucher doesn’t. Each year, more and more costs coming out of pocket.

Now, I think that is the wrong way to go. That would fundamentally change Medicare as we know it -- (applause) -- and I’m not going to sign up for that. Having said that, we are going to have to reform Medicare and our entire healthcare system in order to improve quality for the amount of money that we spend -- because we spend much more money in this country on healthcare than any other industrialized country, and our outcomes aren’t better.

One aspect of his life that's changed since becoming president:

I’ll admit to you, it’s been a while since I filled up at the tank -- filled up at the pump. (Laughter.) You know, Secret Service doesn’t let me get out -- (laughter) -- and they don’t let me drive anymore.

Note: Andrew Malcolm is on vacation

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-- Tony Pierce
twitter.com/busblog

Photo: President Obama speaks at a town hall meeting on the national debt and deficit Tuesday at Northern Virginia Community College. Credit: Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty Images

 
Comments () | Archives (11)

The comments to this entry are closed.

did he tell them anything about how many pay NO taxes?

Yawn. How many facts do people need to see to realize taxing the rich will not get us out of this. This argument has gotten very boring (but Obama will keep using it until people believe the lie). He is going after the Poor and the Middle Class with his policies and ultimately there will be two classes of people....Rich and Poor. There will be no more Middle Class.

God, these kids just get dumber and dumber. The same cult of personality crowd who asked Bill Clinton about his underwear almost 20 years ago! These are college kids who don't know about Obama when he says he's adopting Bill Clinton's "model" on the budget plan. Booo, bad , scary Republicans! Bill Clinton's plan existed at a time when the Country had a budget surplus- and these kiddies (who, if you caught them on the street and asked them a question about almost anything, would fail,) sure as hell wouldn't know the Republican Congress was actually responsible for Clinton's "golden street" era! And grown-ups are equally as stupid now, falling for this tour and the new catch phrase "compassion." Idiots, it takes the PRIVATE SECTOR to create jobs- not government! Wake up for school!


If we kept our money in Country instead of sending it Out of Country. LIKE most other Countries DO. WE"D have the money to build high speed trains.

What pure hypocricy "after" last November's election.

Democrats had total control of elected federal government for the last two years with a Democrat in the White House and Reid and Pelosi leading the House and Senate.

The had the power to change the tax code. They did not. Why not? They knew if they did, they would lose big last November.

This President is a pure political hypocrite.

ThomasFredette, I had no idea that Clinton inherited a surplus. No idea whatsoever. Apparently, you have no idea what Clinton inherited either.

Where was this liar when he had a gigantic majority in both houses of Congress? Answer: He, and they, were fine with it. Silent. Not a bloody bill was offered, and the deficits were soaring then, too.

Now that he and they have no majority and cannot get a bill past the Republicans even if they wanted to, whose plantation economy they actually exist to protect, he's telling the same suckers who put him in what he could have accomplished when he didn't.

The deficits, which will be used to kill as much of public services as they can strangle in the bathtub, could be reduced in equal size by cutting the tax cuts, which is now impossible. The Dems will assist the Repubs in continuing to kill services instead.

Want to stop that madness? DO NOT VOTE FOR ANYONE IN EITHER PARTY EVER AGAIN. They point to each other's betraying policies as the reason to vote for them. We need independent candidates completely independent from those two evil parties, who would, once elected, undo every evil thing they've done to us in actual lock step. Short of that, enjoy your poverty.

Did he tell the kids that a Democrat controlled Senate/Congress/White House had the chance to end the tax cuts but decided to extend them?
  
I'm guessing not.

The more tax money these fools get their hands on, the more money they spend. A INCREASED TAX ON THE RICH IS PASSED ON TO THOSE WHO ARE NOT RICH, by way of higher prices on consumer products.

This guy takes billions in foreign money from George Soros to get elected and has the nerve to tell junior college students don't ever aspire to anything, and anyone making over 200k needs to be punished. The nerve. Nice captive audience I guess. What a bozo.

JRam ever hear of the "Contract With America" in 1994? Congress writes the budgets, the Prez signs them.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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