Appearing at a Democratic National Committee meeting in San Francisco, the president linked America's greatness to government spending---for the second time this month.
CNS News reports:
“Let me tell you something,” Obama said to applause from the crowd at Nob Hill Masonic Center in San Francisco on Apr. 20. “I will not reduce our deficit by sacrificing the things that have always made America great. The things that have made Americans prosper."
He went on to say:
“The America we know is great not because of our skyscrapers or the size of our GDP. It’s because we’ve been able to keep two ideas together at the same time,” Obama said. “The first idea is that we are all individuals endowed with certain inalienable rights and liberties; that we are self-reliant; we are entrepreneurs. We don't expect others to do for us what we can do for ourselves, and we don't really like people telling us what to do.”
He added that "the second idea" is just as important as the first idea. That second idea is "that we’re all in this together; that we look out for one another; that I am my brother’s keeper; that I am my sister’s keeper.”
Hence, the president will not sacrifice "investments in education....science and basic research....clean energy" as part of the budget cuts. "I will not sacrifice America's future," he concluded.
Just a few weeks ago, Obama made a similar claim, saying, “We would not be a great country without those commitments”:
‘There but for the grace of God go I,’ we say to ourselves, and so we contribute to programs like Medicare and Social Security, which guarantee us health care and a measure of basic income after a lifetime of hard work; unemployment insurance, which protects us against unexpected job loss; and Medicaid, which provides care for millions of seniors in nursing homes, poor children, and those with disabilities...We are a better country because of these commitments. I’ll go further – we would not be a great country without those commitments.
"Those commitments" refer to entitlements like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
The president's remarks come at a time of fierce debate over the U.S. debt. In that debate, the Republicans have been pushing for spending cuts and entitlement reform as part of a budget proposal, while Obama has been pushing for "investment" (i.e. spending) and tax hikes.