• The View from Outside Washington

    The President's speech today began a new conversation in Washington about how to reduce the deficit while protecting crucial investments in our country's future.

    But as we seek to build an organization based outside of Washington, President Obama's speech also provides an unusually stark contrast—one all of us can use to start conversations with our friends and neighbors about what's at stake in this election.

    He spoke about things you don't generally hear in Washington conversations too often dominated by special interests: He'll cut waste and excess at the Pentagon—particularly spending that is requested not by our military, but by politicians and corporate interests.

    He'll eliminate tax cuts for Americans in the highest tax brackets who don't need them, including himself—and he will reform the individual tax code so that it's fair and simple and so that the amount of taxes you pay isn't determined by what kind of accountant you can afford.

    Some cuts he proposed are tough. But they're also smart and surgical—helping us balance our books while still doing the right things to win the future. President Obama's plan would protect the middle class, invest in our kids' education, and make sure we don't protect the wealthiest Americans from the costs of reform at the expense of the most vulnerable.

    The other side has presented a very clear alternative: End Medicare as we know it, privatizing the program that millions of seniors rely on for health care. Make deep cuts to education. Slash investments in clean energy and infrastructure. All to pay for tax cuts for people making over $250,000 a year, and all while actually raising our national debt.

    In short, their plan will please a special interest donor base and those who put ideology before results rather than reduce deficits over the long term. And let's be clear: They think they can get away with it because, fundamentally, they don't think you'll do anything about it.

    That's where I know we can prove them wrong. Because we can respond right now by building an organization that will stop them—not just in this deficit battle, but in the next election so they never have the chance to enact these proposals.

    President Obama made a promise in his speech today. He said that we won't have to sacrifice programs like Medicaid and Social Security—programs that millions of Americans rely on—as long as he's President. He's committed to seeking serious solutions to the problems we face while still upholding the larger responsibilities we have to one another. So it's our job to build the organization that's going to keep him in the White House.

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