President Obama (Getty Images)

The Associated Press is reporting that President Barack Obama is turning his attention to the nation's crushing debt and trying to counter a Republican anti-deficit plan with a framework of his own that tackles politically sensitive health care programs while also increasing taxes. The president is set to reveal his spending plan on Wednesday, outlining his proposal to reduce spending in Medicare and Medicaid, raise taxes on the wealthy and cut defense costs. In a pre-emptive response Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called any proposed tax increase "a nonstarter."

The White House wouldn't offer details of the president's approach ahead of the speech. But an official commenting on the condition of anonymity said that the plan borrows from the December recommendations of Obama's bipartisan fiscal commission, which proposed $4 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years.

In a preview of the speech, the White House said it aims to achieve "balanced" deficit reduction by keeping domestic spending low, reducing the defense budget, cutting excess health care spending in the nation's biggest benefit programs, and eliminating loopholes and breaks in the tax system.

Obama's speech will draw contrasts with a Republican plan that cuts $5 trillion in spending over the next decade and, the White House says, unfairly singles out middle-class taxpayers, older adults and the poor.

It's no surprise that Republicans are going to fight the president tooth and nail on anything that he proposes, especially a tax increase on the wealthy. God forbid if President Obama tries to shield from further decimation the elderly, poor and middle-class taxpayers who have carried more than their fair share of the debt burden. Perhaps we will finally see a spending plan in which the entire country actually carries its share instead of one where the poor has to accept sweeping cuts to Medicaid and food stamps,  middle-class folks are hit with the dismantling of Medicare and a gradual increase in the retirement age, and the rich get their taxes slashed. That's not sharing the burden.

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