On the campaign trail, the president's possible 2012 adversaries took aim at his proposal to raise $1.5 trillion in tax revenue
We've taken a look at what the Republican presidential candidates are saying about President Obama's deficit reduction plan -- so you don't have to. In 150 words or less, here are what six of the candidates had to say after the president's speech on Monday.
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Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor:
"President Obama's plan to raise taxes will have a crushing impact on economic growth. Higher taxes mean fewer jobs, it's that simple. This is yet another indication that President Obama has no clue how to bring our economy back."
Rick Perry, Texas governor:
"President Obama's plan is a bait and switch that offers more than a trillion dollars in higher taxes for a promise of temporary tax relief. The president penalizes investment when it is needed most, discourages charitable giving, and doubles down on a failed government stimulus strategy. Worst of all, the Obama plan fails to provide the certainty employers need to create jobs and the spending and deficit reduction our economy needs."
Jon Huntsman, former Utah governor and U.S. ambassador to China:
"President Obama continues to demonstrate that he has no new ideas on how to create American jobs. For two and half years he's been peddling a version of the Buffett tax hike as a key pillar of his failed attempt to tax and spend and regulate this country to prosperity. That simply hasn't worked and it won't work now."
"President Obama's veto threats and partisan demands are a poor attempt to camouflage a $1.5 trillion tax hike that is deeply misguided and the latest example of his ineffective leadership on the economy. The most important thing Congress and the super committee can do is deal with the structural problems that are causing our debt and impeding job creation. Meaningful entitlement reform and revenue-neutral tax reform should be Priority No. 1. Tax increases should not make the list."
Michele Bachmann, Republican House member from Minnesota:
"The president's plan to raise taxes on the American people is the wrong policy to create economic growth and jobs and shows he doesn't understand how to turn our economy around.... The president's gimmicks and tax increases on the backs of small business and the middle class won't grow our economy. Only permanent fixes will. The president should allow for repatriation of American money overseas, truly reform the entire tax code so it is fairer and flatter on all Americans, and get rid of job-killing regulations, including on the energy sector, which will create millions of jobs.
"If Warren Buffett believes he doesn't pay enough taxes, then he should write a check today to the Treasury, but he and the president shouldn't enact warfare on the millions of small businesses, on charities and on middle-class America with increased tax burdens. The president is ... ruining the American economy."
Ron Paul, Republican House member from Texas:
"President Obama's job-creation and deficit-reduction plan will do nothing to combat joblessness or reduce the crushing debt that the federal government has accumulated and is still accumulating. That's because when the president starts targeting the so-called rich, he's really targeting small-business owners, so ultimately he's threatening the little guy. The president's plan, then, will result in a fatal broadside to the national economy from Main Street on down.
"A $1.5 trillion tax hike will do nothing to help us out of this mess we're in, and will more than likely create more problems, lead to less investment, and cause more job loss.... We must reduce spending; instead they pretend that the budget can be balanced and prosperity restored by increasing spending and taxes. Instead of raising taxes, this administration should cut corporate welfare, foreign welfare, and end the trillion-dollar overseas wars by bringing troops home."
Herman Cain, former president and CEO of Godfather's Pizza:
"Perhaps (President Obama) could learn a lesson or two on math from me. I have a degree in mathematics and spent the earlier days of my career as a supervisory mathematician for the Department of the Navy. Then, I worked for 40 years as an executive in the private sector where I balanced budgets, saved failing companies and created jobs....
"Here's what I can tell him about math: Raising taxes on anyone, no matter their income level, will do nothing to stimulate our economy, create jobs, or balance our federal budget. Increasing taxes on the private sector will destroy jobs, further damaging our economy and sending even less revenue to the federal government.... President Obama once said, 'You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.' I agree. It doesn't matter that he calls it 'paying your fair share.' It's still class warfare."
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