Thursday, April 17, 2014
Martin Crutsinger / The Associated Press
(Continued from page 1)
Copies of President Barack Obama's budget plan for fiscal year 2014 are distributed to Senate staff on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 10, 2013. The president sent Congress a $3.77 trillion spending blueprint that seeks to tame runaway deficits by raising taxes further on the wealthy and trimming popular benefit programs but has drawn angry responses from both the right and left. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
AP / J. Scott Applewhite
In the tax area, Obama would raise an additional $580 billion by restricting deductions for the top 2 percent of family incomes. The budget would also implement the "Buffett Rule" requiring that households with incomes of more than $1 million pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes. Charitable giving would be excluded.
Congress and the administration have already secured $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years through budget reductions and with the end-of-year tax increase on the rich. Obama's plan would bring that total to $4.3 trillion over 10 years.
It is unlikely that Congress will get down to serious budget negotiations until this summer, when the government once again will be confronted with the need to raise the government's borrowing limit or face the prospect of a first-ever default on U.S. debt.
As part of the administration's effort to win over Republicans, Obama will have a private dinner at the White House with about a dozen GOP senators Wednesday night. The budget is expected to be a primary topic, along with proposed legislation dealing with gun control and immigration.
Early indications are that the budget negotiations will be intense. Republicans have been adamant in their rejection of higher taxes, arguing that the $600 billion increase on top earners that was part of the late December agreement to prevent the government from going over the "fiscal cliff" were all the new revenue they will tolerate.
The administration maintains that Obama's proposal is balanced with the proper mix of spending cuts and tax increases.
Obama has presided over four straight years of annual deficits totaling more than $1 trillion, reflecting in part the lost revenue during a deep recession and the government's efforts to get the economy going again and stabilize the financial system.
The Obama budget's $1.8 trillion in new deficit cuts would take the place of the automatic $1.2 trillion in reductions required by a 2011 budget deal. That provision triggered $85 billion in automatic cuts for the current budget year, and those reductions, known as a "sequester," would not be affected by Obama's new budget.
The budget plan already passed by the GOP-controlled House would cut deficits by a total $4.6 trillion over 10 years on top of the $1.2 trillion called for in the 2011 deal. The budget outline approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate tracks more closely to the Obama proposal, although it does not include changes to the cost-of-living formula for Social Security.