Did Obama’s Budget Deficit Speech Deliver?

The president laid out his fiscal philosophy and policy in a speech Wednesday


Yesterday, President Obama delivered a fiscal policy speech some critics are calling his “Budget Do-Over.” The president laid out his spending philosophy and debt reduction plan as a stark contrast to Rep. Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget released last week. “I believe it paints a vision of our future that is deeply pessimistic,” Obama said of Ryan’s proposal, criticizing the plan for pulling investment from education, energy, and programs that benefit seniors and the poor, while suggesting, Obama said, “we can somehow afford more than $1 trillion in new tax breaks for the wealthy. Think about that.” [Vote now: Should Paul Ryan's budget plan become law?]

But Ryan and other conservatives were not impressed with Obama’s speech and the plan it outlined. “His speech was excessively partisan, dramatically inaccurate, and hopelessly inadequate to address our fiscal crisis,” said Ryan. “We heard a political broadside from our campaigner-in-chief.”

The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn thinks the president hit the nail on the head with his contrasting vision of an America that he says can still care for seniors and invest in education while putting the nation on track to fiscal health. “Obama has laid out a credible plan for reducing deficits and, more important, he has described a vision of America he wants to defend,” he writes. “For today, at least, that seems like enough.”

Washington Post blogger Jonathan Capehart agrees. He praised Obama for laying out his bedrock principles of shared sacrifice to reduce the deficit and for shooting straight about the unpopular truth that increased taxes or defense and entitlement spending cuts are necessary to reduce the deficit and debt. [Check out a roundup of political cartoons about the budget and the deficit.]

But U.S. News columnist Mary Kate Cary found Obama’s harsh Ryan-bashing rhetoric—especially the part about how Ryan's budget plan would hurt autistic children and the profoundly disabled—showed he is “willing to say just about anything to keep the spending going. That's a big mistake.”

What do you think? Did Obama’s budget speech deliver? Take the poll and post your thoughts below.

This poll is now closed, but the debate continues in the comments section.

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