April 5 - U.S. President Obama criticizes the new Republican budget in his weekly address, saying it will unfairly squeeze the middle class. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) In his weekly address, U.S. President Barack Obama contrasted his budget proposal with the one put forth by the Republicans this week. "The budget I sent Congress earlier this year is built on the idea of opportunity for all. It will grow the middle class and shrink the deficits we've already cut in half since I took office," said Obama. "It's an opportunity agenda with four goals. Number one is creating more good jobs that pay good wages. Number two is training more Americans with the skills to fill those jobs. Number three is guaranteeing every child access to a great education. And number four is making work pay - with wages you can live on, savings you can retire on, and health care that's there for you when you need it," he added. The Republican budget, by contrast, will make it difficult for the middle class to get ahead, according to Obama. "The Republican budget begins by handing out massive tax cuts to households making more than $1 million a year. Then, to keep from blowing a hold in the deficit, they'd have to raise taxes on middle-class families with kids. Next, their budget forces deeper cuts to investments that help our economy create jobs, like education and scientific research," he said. "Policies that benefit a fortunate few while making it harder for working Americans to succeed are not what we need right now." Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee, is calling for spending cuts totaling $5.1 trillion over a decade to reach a balanced budget by 2024 with no new tax revenue. He would cut social programs such as food stamps and Medicare, the national insurance program for older Americans. The Republican budget also calls for the repeal of the Affordable Care act. Taking a fiscally conservative stance helped Republicans make big gains in the last midterm elections in 2010. Ryan's plan signals that Republicans want to repeat this formula as they seek to tighten their control of the House and gain the six Senate seats they need to take control of that chamber.