Senate Republicans challenge Obama’s math

C.J. Ciaramella Contributor
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President Barack Obama pushed for passage of his debt plan Monday morning, saying, “this is not class warfare, it’s math,” but Republican members of the Senate Budget Committee say the president’s arithmetic doesn’t add up.

The White House says its plan will result in $3 trillion in savings, with $1 trillion in savings coming from troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as $580 billion in cuts to mandatory benefit programs. The majority of projected revenue comes from tax increases on the wealthy.

“The money has to come from some place,” Obama said. “If we’re not willing to ask those who’ve done extraordinarily well to help America close the deficit … the math says everybody else has to do a whole lot more, we’ve got to put the entire burden on the middle class and the poor.”

But overall, Obama claims his plan adds up to $2 of spending cuts for every $1 of tax increases.

In a statement released later on Monday, ranking Budget Committee member Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama called the president’s numbers “gimmick piled upon gimmick, adding up to little more than a tax hike camouflaged as fiscal restraint.”

“When you remove the accounting tricks and Washington gimmicks from the president’s plan you’re left with only half of the $3 trillion in deficit reduction the White House promised,” Sessions said in a release. “The White House also claims the president’s plan is $2 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax hikes. But in truth, the president’s deficit reduction comes entirely from tax hikes. Total federal spending, including the stimulus, will increase under the president’s plan, not decrease.”

Senate Budget Committee Republicans contend Obama’s plan would never reduce deficit spending and grow the country’s gross debt by $9.7 trillion dollars over 10 years. (RELATED: GOP hopefuls doubtful of Obama tax proposal)

Overall, Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee say Obama’s deficit-reduction plan contains 110 percent more tax increases than deficit reduction.

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