President of the United States Barack Obama has supplied United States congress a $3.8 trillion budget game plan that is designed to tame runaway deficits , increasing on the wealthy and in addition cutting down on common benefit programs which include Social Security and Medicare.
Obama kept on his press on Wednesday for a compromise between Republicans who refuse to increase taxes and Democrats that might be seeking to protect popular initiatives that provide pensions and health care needs to the elderly and poor.
Battles between the 2 parties over budgeting priorities have pushed the government to the brink of shutdown several instances and the latest plan is looking to provide a longer term answer , so the administration does not really need to stumble from crisis to crisis.
The two party political system must become one for truth, equality and justice…
The president’s spending and tax plan for the budget calendar year that begins October 1 is 2 months late.
The administration blames the delay on the prolonged negotiations at the end of December to thwart the so-called “fiscal cliff” of tax increases and also spending cuts and battles over the March 1 automatic spending reductions.
The president’s budget projects deficit reductions of $1.8tn over the next decade , achieved with higher taxes , reductions in payments to Medicare providers and cutbacks in the cost-of-living adjustments paid to millions of recipients in Social Security and other government programmes.
Early indications are that the budget negotiations will be intense.
Republicans have been adamant in their rejection of higher taxes , arguing that the $600bn 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.
As part of the administration’s effort to win over the opposition , Obama will have a private dinner at the White House with about a dozen Republican senators Wednesday night. The budget is expected to be a primary topic , along with proposed legislation dealing with gun control and immigration.
Paul Ryan , chairman of the House Budget Committee , rejected the administration’s argument that the refusal of Republicans to consider further tax increases represented inflexibility.
“We Republicans have already done things to move to the middle , to find common ground ,” he said on MSNBC.
“We really believe if we set the stage right , we can get fundamental tax reform.”
Meeting ‘half way’
The administration maintains that Obama’s proposal is balanced with the proper mix of spending cuts and tax increases.
By including proposals to shrink Social Security and Medicare , the government’s two biggest benefit programs , Obama is hoping to entice Republicans to consider tax increases.
“I have already met Republicans more than halfway , so in the coming days and weeks I hope that Republicans will come forward and demonstrate that they’re really as serious about the deficit and debt as they claim to be ,” Obama said in the White House Rose Garden.
The Obama budget’s $1.8tn in new deficit cuts would take the place of the automatic $1.2tn in reductions required by a 2011 budget deal.
That provision triggered $85bn in automatic cuts for the current budget year , and those reductions , known as a “sequester” , would not be affected by Obama’s new budget.
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 US debt.
“President Obama has never been able to pass a budget through Congress ,” Al Jazeera’s White House correspondent Patty Culhane said from Washington...