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Mayor Bloomberg Calls President's Deficit Plan 'Class Warfare'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) - Saying "We can't just cut our way out of this hole,'' President Barack Obama is calling for $1.5 trillion in new taxes as part of a 10-year deficit reduction package totaling more than $3 trillion.

WCBS 880's Rich Lamb With Mayor Bloomberg


Speaking in the White House Rose Garden this morning, Obama said, "It's only right we ask everyone to pay their fair share,'' and vowed to veto any deficit reduction package that cuts benefits to Medicare recipients but does not raise new revenues.

The president's proposal would predominantly hit upper income taxpayers but would also reduce spending in mandatory benefit programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, by $580 billion. It also counts savings of $1 trillion over 10 years from the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

"I don't think class warfare is a great idea. I've been saying this for weeks. I think that everybody should share in the revenue enhancements that we need to balance the budget, and in any reduction in government expenditures," said billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Obama says it's not class warfare, but math.

"You're only going to pay off something if it's very broad-based and everybody shares. Otherwise, I think it's probably a non-starter in terms of getting implemented," said Bloomberg.

The Republican reaction was swift and negative.

Minutes after the president spoke, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement saying, "Veto threats, a massive tax hike, phantom savings, and punting on entitlement reform is not a recipe for economic or job growth.''

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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