Obama Prepares to Send Budget Proposal to Congress

Posted February 13th, 2012 at 1:55 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama is proposing what the White House calls a “balanced approach” of higher taxes and lower spending as he sends his 2013 federal budget plan to Congress.

Mr. Obama is set to unveil the proposal Monday at a community college near Washington, highlighting his push to boost funding for education, infrastructure and job-creation programs.

Jacob Lew, the president's chief of staff, said Sunday the budget is aimed at stimulating the economy while at the same time seeking a long-term solution to reducing the federal deficit.

Lew told television interviewers the budget is designed to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reductions over the next decade by increasing taxes on corporations and wealthy Americans while also trimming government spending.

Members of the opposition Republican party have attacked the budget plan, saying it is simply a way to promote Mr. Obama's campaign for re-election.

Congressman Paul Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee, calls the budget a blueprint for continuing failed and counter-productive Democratic policies.

House Republicans are preparing their own budget proposal for what will be an election-year debate highlighting the differences between the major parties' approaches to taxes and government spending.

The 2013 fiscal year begins in October, a month before U.S. presidential and congressional elections.

Mr. Obama's budget plan includes $1 trillion in spending cuts required by an agreement between the White House and Congress last August to address the federal deficit and raise the country's debt ceiling.

The agreement also set up a committee to find ways to trim the deficit by an additional $1.2 trillion over the next decade. But the committee failed to reach a deal by their November deadline, setting up massive automatic cuts to defense and domestic programs that are set to be triggered in January 2013.