Copies of the White House budget are delivered to the House Monday. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)On Monday morning, President Obama sent to Congress his federal budget for fiscal year 2013, a non-binding blue print of the White House's spending priorities that calls for raising taxes on the wealthy, cutting spending in certain areas of government and increasing the budgets of infrastructure projects and job training programs.
If implemented, the White House says that the plan would decrease the federal deficit by $4 trillion within the next decade, although it leaves the federal government with a budget shortfall of $901 billion by the end of fiscal year 2013. Obama introduced his budget in a speech at the Northern Virginia Community College near Washington, D.C.
"The main idea in the budget is this: At a time when our economy is growing and creating jobs at a faster clip, we've got to do everything in our power to keep this recovery on track," Obama said. "Part of our job is to bring down our deficit, and if Congress adopts this budget, then along with the cuts that we' already made, we'll be able to reduce our deficit by $4 trillion by 2022."
"The last thing we need is for Washington to stand in the way of America's comeback," he went on to say, calling on Congress to extend a payroll tax cut, which expires at the end of this month, "without drama, without delay."
The Budget Control Act, passed by Congress last August to end the damaging stand-off over the debt ceiling, cut discretionary spending by $900 billion over the next decade. That all but forced the White House to make major cuts to discretionary spending across the board -- including agencies like the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration -- in today's budget proposal.
The plan unveiled Monday also includes $360 billion in cuts to federal health programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Most of those cuts come from reduced payments to providers, including drug companies. By contrast, a plan put forward last year by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), and embraced by much of his party, calls for a broader restructuring of Medicare; many analysts say cuts in the Ryan plan would fall more heavily on future beneficiaries.
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