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.
“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.”