Just Another Day in the White House Rose Garden

September 20, 2011
by Alison Root, RESULTS Educational Fund Project Associate

One of the amazing things about living in Washington, D.C., is that every now and then, you’re reinvigorated by politics — and not just over the news, but in person. I had the opportunity for such reinvigoration yesterday when I attended President Obama’s speech on his deficit reduction President Obama at the Rose Gardenplan in the White House Rose Garden.

Sitting only a few rows away, I could see the president pacing in the Oval Office prior to walking out into the Rose Garden to deliver his speech. If it were me, pacing would be absolutely necessary in the lead up to such an important speech. With his powerful delivery and speaking style, I couldn’t help but notice how much the president has changed since I saw him on his Senate campaign trail in Illinois in 2004 when he spoke at my high school. While the presidency may have aged him, it definitely has refined his speaking abilities.

The president’s speech unveiled his plan to address the deficit and promote economic growth which relied largely on a platform of economic justice. In a strong and almost threatening statement, the president reiterated his unwillingness to allow cuts that aren’t accompanied by revenue raising measures that are based on a fair share framework. One such powerful quote:

“I will not support — I will not support — any plan that puts all the burden for closing our deficit on ordinary Americans. And I will veto any bill that changes benefits for those who rely on Medicare but does not raise serious revenues by asking the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to pay their fair share. We are not going to have a one-sided deal that hurts the folks who are most vulnerable.”

I left the White House inspired by the strength the president exuded in his commitment to protect low- and middle-income Americans. I just hope his commitment will spur collaboration on a package that balances our country’s need to reduce the deficit, while protecting vital global and domestic poverty reducing programs.

Read more about Obama’s plan.

Read more about RESULTS’ priorities on the deficit reduction plan.

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