Tough Sell for Obama as his 2014 Budget Aims for the Middle Ground

Mike O'Brien
Posted: 04/10/2013

President Obama presented his $3.77 trillion budget proposal to Congress on Wednesday and launched a fresh bid to woo Republican senators with a short-term spending plan he says will boost jobs.

The package also contains medium-term tax and spending changes to cut the deficit, which may anger politicians on both sides.

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Republicans have strongly opposed tax increases on wealthier Americans and argue that much of the spending is wasteful.

The Obama administration hopes some new changes to its budget, which includes cuts to the growth of Social Security, will win the support of many on the Right. The GOP reaction, however, has so far been mixed, while liberal Democrats vehemently oppose any reductions in programs such as Medicare.

The strategy is to work around his severest critics and court rank-and-file Republicans. The President is even scheduled to have dinner with a dozen GOP senators on Wednesday evening.

The proposal calls for $3.77 trillion in spending for the fiscal year that begins in October, which includes canceling the across-the-board sequestration spending cuts.

The spending would result in a federal budget deficit of $744 billion next year, down from the projected $845 billion deficit in 2013. House Republicans have been pressing for a $528 billion deficit for next year.

The White House is proposing to limit the tax breaks that wealthier Americans can claim through two separate initiatives, which would generate $580 billion in revenue over 10 years, the Wall Street Journal reports.

It is also calling for new taxes on tobacco, which will provide funds to pay for a new "Preschool for All" initiative geared towards an education system for all four-year-olds.

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Mike O'Brien
Posted: 04/10/2013