The White House Budget Director Peter Orszag on Tuesday defended President Barack Obama's $3.6 trillion federal budget and its proposal to raise taxes on more affluent Americans.
"We have lived through an era of total irresponsibility," Orszag told the House Budget Committee. "Looking forward, we must change course."
Lawmakers among Republicans and Democrats have questioned Obama's call to reduce high-income earners' tax deductions for the interest on their house payments and for charitable contributions.
Also drawing fire is his proposal to start taxing industries on their greenhouse gas pollution - a move that is sure to raise consumers' electric rates as the industries will simply pass the fee on to their consumers.
"As usual the little guy catches it in the ass", stated one Democrat critic.
"How are you going to raise taxes on higher income earners when they apparently don't bother paying them now?" asked one Republican. "He (Obama) has lost several of his appointments already because they admitted to not paying their taxes.
If the Average Joe out there had done this, he'd be in jail now and the American people know it. What we need is for the people who already owe taxes to pay them!"