President Obama unleashed his harshest attack yet against House Republican's budget proposal Tuesday, calling it a "Trojan horse" and "thinly veiled social Darwinism" that would contribute to a total breakdown of government services.
"It's laughable," Obama said of the House budget, which calls for $5.3 trillion in spending cuts, as well as tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000. "Disguised as a deficit reduction plan, it's really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country."
Obama told a gathering of newspaper editors in Washington that the GOP budget would leave needy children to starve, cut 10 million college students' financial aid payments, close hundreds of national parks, and even prevent weather forecasters from spotting deadly storms "because we wouldn't be able to afford to launch new satellites."
"It is thinly veiled social Darwinism," he said. "By gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that's built to last -- education and training, research and development -- it's a prescription for decline."
The president used the budget crafted by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to paint the Republican agenda as extreme and the party as detrimental to the well-being of middle-class America. Republicans continue to advocate a failed system of trickle-down economics that rewards the rich while slashing programs that benefit the poor, Obama said.
"In this country, broad-based prosperity has never trickled down from the success of a wealthy few," he said.
Republican Party leaders blasted Obama's rhetoric as cynical, desperate and deceptive.
"President Obama should be ashamed of himself for trying to score cheap political points by attacking Republicans' plans to reduce the deficit and save future generations from a debt crisis of his own creation," said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.
Priebus characterized Obama as a "reckless," "tax-and-spend" president who would "rather bankrupt America and mortgage our children's future than make tough decisions."
"Clearly, Obama misled the American people in 2008 when he promised to be a post-partisan leader of 'hope and change,' " Priebus said. "All along he's been a cold, calculating, big-spending politician."
Ryan, who drafted the budget plan and who has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential contender on the Republican ticket this fall, accused Obama of distorting the truth to distract Americans from his own failed record.
Obama's remarks on Tuesday are the latest in a string of increasingly combative speeches in which he has cast the Republican Party as a hostage to a no-tax policy that runs contrary to centuries of American leadership.
"It was Richard Nixon who created the Environmental Protection Agency, Ronald Reagan who worked with Democrats to save Social Security," Obama said, referring to Republican presidents who have made the kind of investments that he says the GOP now intends to gut.
Mitt Romney, Obama's likely Republican opponent in the fall, is scheduled to address the same crowd in Washington on Wednesday.