“The president will make clear that while we all share the goal of reducing our deficit and putting our nation back on a fiscally responsible path, his vision is one where we can live within our means without putting burdens on the middle class and seniors or impeding our ability to invest in our future,” a White House official said in previewing the speech, set for 1:30 p.m. at the George Washington University.
It is unclear just how specific the president's speech will be. The official described four broad steps guiding Obama’s approach: keeping domestic spending low, trimming the defense budget, reducing excess healthcare spending “while strengthening Medicare and Medicaid,” and reforming the tax code.
The latter two points will be the biggest dividing lines between the president and Republicans. The 2012 proposal offered by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, eventually seeks to privatize Medicare and hand Medicaid over to states. Obama also seeks to raise taxes for higher earners – which Republicans say is a non-starter.