What Obama Should Have Said in His Budget Speech

There are two paths to deficit reduction. One is slash and burn. We cut the investments that the country needs. We weaken the purchasing power of seniors. We end up with lower household income, a slower rate of growth and we get the grim satisfaction of budget balance in a weaker and poorer economy. That's the Republican way.

My way, the other path, is to invest in people, through expanded education at all levels, public infrastructure that creates a more productive economy, renewable energy, new technology, good jobs -- and to defend social benefits that are barely adequate as is.

We pay for some of this by restoring the pre-Bush tax levels on the most privileged among us, and some of it by having larger deficits than the austerity-mongers want, during the next two years. Then, as we restore growth, the deficit actually declines faster than it would if we pursued slash-and-burn, as the Republicans want.

I want to focus on one demand that I've specifically rejected -- cutting the deficit on the backs of seniors. This is bad policy and bad economics

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