Obama deficit reduction plan would impact tax itemization of home purchases
President Barack Obama revealed the White House's deficit reduction plan Wednesday, saying his administration aims to reduce the nation's deficit by $4 trillion over the next 12 years by using a mix of higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans, reductions in defense spending, tax code changes and health care savings. President Obama said under the plan the tax code would be changed, preventing excessive spending on itemized deductions, including those that benefit homeowners and charitable giving. He added that his administration will ask Congress to reform the individual tax code to simplify the process, "so the amount you pay is not based on the type of accountant you have." Obama said he also would allow tax cuts on the nations' wealthiest Americans to expire and believes this cut along with reduced spending on health care expenses through an avenue that lowers costs would round out the 12-year deficit cutting plan. The president said he appreciated a Republican plan that called for a $14 trillion deficit reduction, but said the plan continues to "ask for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and have little representation on Capital Hill." The president said he will allow the tax cuts for the wealthy Americans to expire. Obama blamed excessive spending in the past decade for the nation's debt. The president said while the Ryan plan would force seniors to pay $6,000 more for health care, his plan would focus on reducing spending on health care itself rather than broad-swooping cuts to the programs that impact seasons. David Schweikert (R-AZ) told MSNBC in an interview that he appreciated the first part of Obama's speech which outlined America's predicament, but called the remaining two-thirds of the speech schizophrenic when discussing the plight of the poor and elderly under the Ryan plan's Medicare and Medicaid cuts. Schwikert said Ryan's plan would actually depend more on states, allowing representatives at the local level "to better deliver the health care dollars." Write to Kerri Panchuk.