President Obama asked Mitt Romney the fundamental question of this election. Obama asked Romney. ‘How many teachers’ jobs are worth tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires?
Here is the video from NBC News:
Transcript courtesy of the White House:
THE PRESIDENT: No, no, no, no, no, don’t “booo” — vote. (Applause.) That’s right. Vote.
The Republicans in Congress, led by Congressman Ryan, joined together to block the bill that would have helped states hire and retain more teachers. And, as a result, tens of thousands of teachers are not coming back to school this fall. Now, not only is that unfair to our kids, it’s foolish for our future.
Now, my opponent in this election doesn’t seem to understand this. Governor Romney says we’ve got enough teachers, we don’t need anymore. The way he talks about them, it seems as if he thinks these are a bunch of nameless government bureaucrats that we need to cut back on — those are his words. And his economic plan certainly would do that. The plan Governor Romney has put forward would cut America’s investment in education by nearly 20 percent.
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: And here’s the thing — he’s not making these cuts because he wants to create jobs or pay down the deficit. He’s doing it to pay for a new $5 trillion tax cut that’s weighted towards the wealthiest Americans.
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: So I’ve got a question for Governor Romney: How many teachers’ jobs are worth another tax cut for millionaires and billionaires? How many kids in Head Start are worth a tax cut for somebody like me who doesn’t need it? How many grants and loans for college students are worth a tax cut for Governor Romney who certainly doesn’t need it? (Applause.)
We are a better country than one that short-changes the next generation just so we can shower tax cuts on folks who are already doing really well. (Applause.) We’re a better country than one that pulls the rug out from under young people working so hard to make it, just to give more to folks who’ve already got a lot. That’s not who we are. That’s not how we built the greatest economy and the strongest middle class in the world. (Applause.) That’s not a plan for our future. That’s not where I want to take this country. That’s why I’m running for reelection as President of the United States of America. (Applause.)
This election is about priorities. Much to the Republicans’ dismay, 2012 is shaping up not to be a referendum on President Obama. This election is about choices. Do we the people want tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, or do we want more teachers in classrooms?
These two choices might not seem related, but Gov. Romney has made it clear that he intends to cut everything outside of defense in order to pay for more tax cuts for the wealthy. Behind the Romney plan is a very simple premise. If the rich are going to pay less, everybody else will have to pay more.
On top of the 20% cut in elementary, secondary, and special education federal funding that the Romney/Ryan ticket is proposing, 250,000 children will lose access to Head Start. One hundred twenty nine thousand college students will lose Work Study jobs, and federal Pell grants will be cut by $830 per student.
On a wide range of issues, these are the choices we face. Do we want invest in fixing America’s roads and bridges, or do we want to give trillions of dollars in tax cuts to the wealthy? Do we want to give more people access to healthcare, or do we want to take resources away from those in the middle and bottom and redistribute them to the top?
Mitt Romney won’t answer these questions. Heck, he won’t even give the American people specifics about what he intends to do if he is elected. He doesn’t want to tell you his plans, because he doesn’t want you to have the ability to make an informed decision.
President Obama is asking the right questions, and in about a month, Mitt Romney is going to have to stand across from him on the debate stage and give us all answers.