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WASHINGTON (NBC) — President Obama calls his $3.8 trillion budget for 2014 a “fiscally responsible blueprint for jobs and growth” that also shrinks the deficit.
In an effort to entice Republicans, it includes proposals to trim the deficit by re-working both Social Security and Medicare.
But the president says that’s as far as he’ll go.
“When it comes to deficit reduction, I’ve already met Republicans more than halfway,” Mr. Obama said Wednesday.
For fellow Democrats the budget includes tax increases like doubling the federal tax on cigarettes and proposals to close loopholes for the wealthy and corporations.
“If anyone thinks I’ll finish the job on deficit reduction on the backs of middle class families or through spending cuts alone that actually hurt our economy short term, they should think again,” the president said.
Still, shortly after hard copies of the budget were delivered to Congress Republicans pounced.
“What we see inside the document is more of the same, more spending, higher taxes, more debt,” said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
House Speaker John Boehner, meanwhile, said the president deserves credit for proposing entitlement reform.
“But I would hope that he would not hold hostage these modest reforms for his demand for bigger tax hikes,” Boehner noted.
Liberals don’t like the budget either.
“If you want to defend the middle class, you don’t cut Social Security and you don’t cut Medicare,” argued Vermont’s Senator Bernie Sanders.