President Barack Obama outlined a comprehensive plan on Wednesday to reduce the nation's looming deficit by $4 trillion over the next 12 years. His plan, which includes tax increases for the wealthy, changes to social welfare programs and long-term spending cuts, was offered as a Democratic alternative to the proposal put forward by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) which would fundamentally alter Medicare and Medicaid. In the next few weeks, members of Congress will have to decide whether to raise the nation's debt ceiling, and Vice President Joe Biden will lead negotiations to move congressional leaders towards common ground. Will they find it?
It's likely no deal will be reached before the 2012 election, setting the stage for the deficit to be a key issue on the campaign trail. We talk with Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich about the president's speech and the options for Congress and the president to slow the rapid growth of the national debt.