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Obama deficit cutting plan targets the rich

world Updated: Sep 20, 2011 00:21 IST

The wealthy and corporations must pay their “fair share,” US President Barack Obama said on Monday, laying out a $3 trillion (Rs 135 trillion) deficit cutting plan, half to be financed by tax hikes on the rich.

“We can’t just cut our way out of this hole.... If we are going to make spending cuts... then it is only right we ask everyone to pay their fair share,” Obama said in a speech in the White House Rose Garden.

“We can’t afford these special lower rates for the wealthy. We can’t afford them when we are running these big deficits,” Obama said, fighting for the end of tax cuts for the rich passed by former president George W Bush. Obama,’s fiery, populist speech, setting out a fundamental clash with Republicans ahead of his 2012 reelection race, came as his political foes accuse him of waging class warfare to ease his political woes.

“This is not class warfare, it is math,” Obama declared, arguing that without tax increases on those who could afford it the deficit could never be cut.

“Middle-class taxpayers shouldn’t pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires. That’s pretty straightforward. It’s hard to argue against that.”

Obama’s proposals will bring total deficit cutting plans over the next decade to $4.4 trillion, officials said.