On April 13, President Barack Obama gave an afternoon address outlining his vision for long-term deficit reduction. Noting that the mounting national debt could not be reduced solely through cuts to the 12% of the budget that accounts for non-security discretionary spending, the President offered reforms to spending on health care, security, and discretionary programs, and to the tax code.
President Obama remarked, however, that budgetary cuts must be done in a way that preserves the promise of America, saying, “each one of us deserves a basic measure of security and dignity,” and that government has a role in making this possible. He also stated he intends to make the tax code “fair and simple” for both individuals and corporations. The President sharply criticized the House budget resolution authored by Budget Committee Paul Ryan (R-WI) for how it would change Medicare and Medicaid and for further cutting taxes. He vowed that he would not agree to another extension of the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
In its press statement released in response to the President’s address, NLIHC describes a path forward for tax reform. “By transforming the mortgage interest deduction into a tax credit and lowering the amount of mortgage eligible for the credit,” the statement explains, “we could make home ownership more affordable for low and moderate income families and generate enough funds to end the shortage of housing affordable for the lowest income households.”
The NLIHC statement notes that there are only 32 units of adequate, affordable rental housing available for every 100 extremely low income renters, and that “this absolute shortage of affordable housing is a problem that can be solved through government investment and smart reforms, not through cuts to the social safety net.”
To view the text of the President’s address, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/04/13/remarks-president-fiscal-policyTo read the NLIHC press release, visit http://nlihc.org/press/releases/4-13-11/deficit