Obama announces debt plan built on taxes on rich

WASHINGTON (AP) - In a blunt rejoinder to congressionalRepublicans, President Barack Obama urged $1.5 trillion in newtaxes Monday, part of a total 10-year deficit-reduction package toreach more than $3 trillion. "We can't just cut our way out ofthis hole," the president said.

The president's proposal aims to reduce spending in mandatorybenefit programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, by $580 billionand counts savings of $1 trillion over 10 years from the withdrawalof troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama's recommendation to a joint congressional committee servedas a sharp counterpoint to Republican lawmakers, who have insistedthat tax increases should play no part in taming the nation'sescalating national debt. The new taxes would predominantly hitwealthy Americans, ending their Bush-era tax cuts and limitingtheir deductions.

"It's only right we ask everyone to pay their fair share,"Obama said.

Responding to a common complaint from Republicans, he added:"This is not class warfare. It's math."

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