Rather than continuing the pattern of tax reduction and reform, the President and his supporters in Congress and elsewhere are calling for tax increases, primarily on upper-income taxpayers and businesses. Many of these individuals are small-business owners, the primary job creators in the country, whose income often fluctuates from year to year. These tax increases would add approximately $1.8 trillion to government revenues over the next 10 years, of which more than half ($970 billion) would come from upper-income taxpayers
The underlying problem is one of fairness, Obama says. "In America, we are greater together when everyone engages in fair play, everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share," he said in the speech... "They want to go back to the same policies that have stacked the deck against middle-class Americans for too many years," he said. "Their philosophy is simple: We are better off when everyone is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules."
“I'm going to lay out a blueprint for an American economy that's built to last,” Obama said.
The president said the address will bookend the speech he gave in Osawatomie, Kan.
“I talked in Osawatomie about - this is a make-or-break moment for the middle class and folks trying to work their way into the middle class," he said. "Because we can go in two directions -- one is towards less opportunity and less fairness. Or we can fight for where I think we need to go: building an economy that works for everyone, not just a wealthy few.”
“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen,” he said. “The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.”
"The  budget that we're releasing today is a reflection of shared responsibility," Mr. Obama said in his remarks in Virginia on Monday. "And some people go around; they say, 'Well, the president is engaging in class warfare.' That's not class warfare; that's common sense."
Mr. Obama proposed generating $1.7 trillion in new revenue over 10 years largely by ending Bush-era tax cuts for families who earn more than $250,000, restoring the estate tax to its 2009 level and limiting subsidies for oil and gas companies.
He also for the first time proposed raising the tax rate on dividends, from 15% to as much as 39.6%, for households making more than $250,000 a year. The White House said the measure would generate $206 billion in revenue over 10 years.
Providing a high-quality education for all children is critical to America’s economic future. Our nation’s economic competitiveness and the path to the American Dream depend on providing every child with an education that will enable them to succeed in a global economy that is predicated on knowledge and innovation. President Obama is committed to providing every child access to a complete and competitive education, from cradle through career.
BROKAW: Is health care in America a privilege, a right, or a responsibility?
OBAMA: Well, I think it should be a right for every American. In a country as wealthy as ours, for us to have people who are going bankrupt because they can't pay their medical bills...
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OBAMA: I strongly believe that my personal story is wrapped up with the larger story of this country. That my individual salvation rests on our collective salvation.
OBAMA: What I found in my life is that my individual salvation depends on our collective salvation.
OBAMA: Our individual salvation depends on collective salvation.
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"I want to be clear. We're not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that's fairly earned. I mean I do think at a certain point you've made enough money."
“Your tax plan’s going to tax me more,” the plumber named Joe Wurzelbacher told Obama at a rally in Ohio on Sunday. “It’s not that I want to punish your success, I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance at success too,” Obama told the plumber. “My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s going be good for everybody. If you’ve got a plumbing business, you’re gonna be better off if you’ve got a whole bunch of customers who can afford to hire you, and right now everybody’s so pinched that business is bad for everybody, and I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody."
"A world-class education is the single most important factor in determining not just whether our kids can compete for the best jobs but whether America can out-compete countries around the world. America's business leaders understand that when it comes to education, we need to up our game. That's why we’re working together to put an outstanding education within reach for every child"
-PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, JULY 18, 2011
Speaking about the Supreme Court in the 1950s and 1960s during the civil rights movement, Obama expressed regret that the High Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues of political and economic justice in society:
"To that extent, as radical as I think the people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it's been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted it the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can't do to you. Says what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf."