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President Obama in Chicago yesterday, celebrating the best belated birthday present he could have asked for: Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate.

Obama said that Romney's selection of Ryan shows that Romney is committed to a top-down agenda rooted in the notion that the only thing you need to do for economic growth is cut taxes for the wealthy and reduce regulation on big business. The problem, Obama said, is that our experience shows that trickle-down approach doesn't work. It's fairy dust, he said, and we can't afford to raise taxes on the middle-class to pay for a tax cut for the wealthy.

The thing you notice in these remarks, which I've posted below the fold, is that President Obama practically didn't need to change a single word in his stump speech. For all the talk of Ryan being a game-changer, it was actually more of a double-down. Romney wasn't saying he was ready to be bold and different; instead, he was saying, "Yes, I really believe this crazy tea party nonsense." And he was saying he's serious about following the tea party agenda if he gets elected. It was a public oath of allegiance. And it validated everything President Obama has said about Mitt Romney's priorities.

    THE PRESIDENT:  What's holding us back is not the lack of big ideas or good plans.  What's holding us back is a brand of Washington politics that says we are not going to compromise, no matter what.  It's gridlock and stalemates and dysfunction.  And it's an idea propagated by the other side that somehow we're going to grow this economy from the top down, and that if people at the top are doing really, really well, then everybody else is automatically going to benefit.

     AUDIENCE:  Booo --

     THE PRESIDENT:  Now, this kind of top-down economics is central to Governor Romney, and it is central to his running mate.  Just yesterday morning, my opponent chose his running mate, the ideological leader of the Republicans in Congress -- Mr. Paul Ryan.  And I want to congratulate --

     AUDIENCE:  Booo --

     THE PRESIDENT:  No, no, no, no.  Look, I want to congratulate Congressman Ryan.  I know him.  I welcome him to the race.  Congressman Ryan is a decent man.  He is a family man.  He's an articulate spokesman for Governor Romney's vision.  But it's a vision that I fundamentally disagree with.  (Applause.)  My opponent and Congressman Ryan and their allies in Congress, they all believe that if we just get rid of more regulations on big corporations and we give more tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, it will lead to jobs and prosperity for everybody else.  That's what they're proposing.  That's where they'll take us if they win.

     And this is not speculation.  It's on their websites.  It's embodied in the budget that the House Republicans voted for repeatedly.  The centerpiece of Governor Romney's entire economic plan is a new $5 trillion tax cut, a lot of it going to the wealthiest Americans.  This is on top of the Bush tax cuts.  Last week we found out that to pay for this $5 trillion tax cut, not only would we see them gut education investments --

     AUDIENCE:  Booo --

     THE PRESIDENT:  -- gut investments in science and research, gut investments in things like rebuilding our roads and our bridges, but it turns out that Governor Romney's tax plan would also raise taxes on middle-class families by an average of $2,000 each.

     AUDIENCE:  Booo --

     THE PRESIDENT:  Not to reduce the deficit, mind you.  Not to create more jobs.  Independent economists have looked at it -- they said there's nothing in Governor Romney's plan that would create jobs right now.  This would all be in order to give another $250,000 tax cut to people who are making $3 million a year or more.

     AUDIENCE:  Booo --

     THE PRESIDENT:  Let me tell you something.  They have tried this before.  They have tried to sell us this trickle-down fairy dust before.  (Laughter.)  And guess what -- it did not work.  (Applause.)  It did not work.  It's not a plan to cut the deficit.  It's not a plan to create jobs.  It's not a plan to revive the middle class.  It's not a plan to move our economy forward.  We don't need more tax cuts for folks like me.  We need to give tax relief to working Americans.  (Applause.)  To middle-class families.  For folks who are trying to raise their kids and keep them healthy, and send them to college, and keep a roof over their heads.

     That's the choice in this election.  And that's why I'm running for a second term as President of the United States of America.  (Applause.)

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 10:43 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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