Mr. President, this is a pivotal moment in the history of our country. In the coming days and weeks, decisions will be made about our national budget that will impact the lives of virtually every American in this country for decades to come—and the time is now for the American people to become significantly involved in that debate and not leave it to a small number of people here in Washington.
Mr. President, at a time when the wealthiest people and the largest corporations in our country are doing phenomenally well, and in many cases have never had it so good, while the middle class is disappearing and poverty is increasing, it is absolutely imperative that any deficit-reduction package that passes this Congress not include the horrendous cuts, the cruel cuts, in programs that working people desperately need, that are utilized every day by the elderly, by the sick, by our children, and by the lowest income people in our country, that the Republicans in Congress, dominated by their extreme rightwing, are demanding...
...So, today, I am asking the American people that, if you believe deficit reduction should be about shared sacrifice; if you believe the wealthiest people in our country and the largest corporations should be asked to pay their fair share as part of deficit reduction; if you believe that, at a time when military spending has almost tripled since 1997, that we begin to take a hard look at our defense budget; and if you believe the middle-class and working families have already sacrificed enough, I urge you to make sure that the President hears your voice--and he needs to hear it now.
Sadly, as Congressional Rs -- and recent comments here -- have clearly shown, today's so-called conservatives are as far from the ideas of shared sacrifice and of looking to future needs as Newt Gingrich has been, lately, from Tiffany's.