Looking at Obama’s budget

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Looking at Obama’s budget

President Barack Obama releases his long-awaited budget proposal, aiming to reduce, but not eliminate, deficits.

Among the highlights

— Employs a Republican proposal to use the so-called “chained CPI” to hold down inflation-adjusted increases in Social Security payments.

— Increases some Medicare costs for well-off retirees.

— Hikes federal cigarette taxes to pay for pre-school for low- and moderate-income children.

— Caps income tax deductions for high earners.

— Makes new allocations for transportation projects and jobs initiatives.

— Replaces the sequester cuts with what the White House says are more sensible reductions.

— Proposes savings by cutting farm subsidies.

— Proposes savings through ending or shrinking certain weapons programs, shaving health care benefits and reducing military construction. It also would slow the pace of military pay raises.

— Increases spending for clean energy.

— Proposes broad budget cuts for the Homeland Security Department to be spread over several agencies, including the Secret Service and the Coast Guard.

Competing priorities

Obama:

“My budget will reduce our deficits by nearly another $2 trillion, so that all told we will have surpassed the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that independent economists believe we need to stabilize our finances. But it does so in a balanced and responsible way, a way that most Americans prefer.”

House Speaker John Boehner:

“House Republicans passed a balanced budget that will help foster a healthier economy and to help create jobs. Unfortunately, the president’s budget never comes to balance. Every family has to balance its budget, Washington should as well.”

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