President Obama unveiled an election-year budget that is centered heavily on job creation and taking a longer period of time to eventually balance the nation’s budget.
The president's budget plan calls for increased spending, particularly in job creation, which would be paid for by higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
The budget for the next fiscal year, which takes effect Oct. 1, would reduce the nation’s deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years by cutting federal spending. Under the proposed budget, people earning more than $250,000 a year would pay higher taxes.
For 2013, the White House projects a deficit of $901 billion, or 5.5 percent of the gross domestic product. That figure is down from an estimated $1.33 trillion in fiscal-year 2012, 8.5 percent of the gross domestic product. The president’s goal is to reduce the budget gap to 2.7 percent of the gross domestic product, or $575 billion, by 2018.
The president’s budget proposal was hailed by officials in urban areas, where the African-American unemployment rate has long been stubbornly higher than the national average.
Speaking at Northern Virginia Community College in Annondale, VA, the president spoke about many of the features of the budget, particularly the importance of investing in the nation’s educational systems.
He also spoke of the importance of wealthy Americans paying a larger share of taxes. “We've got to renew the American values of fair play and shared responsibility,” he said.
He criticized Republicans for opposing tax increases for the wealthiest Americans. “It doesn’t make sense at a time when we have to pull together to get the country moving,” the president said. “We’re going to have to make some tough choices in order to put this country back on a more sustainable path.”
Republican leaders have responded harshly to the proposed budget, saying that the president’s calculations were completely inaccurate and that it would stymie economic growth. House Speaker John Boehner called the president’s budget plan “a gloomy reflection of the president’s failed policies."
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(Photo: Jason Reed/Reuters)