President Barack Obama Monday proposed a $3.8 trillion budget brimming with populist tax hikes on the rich and jobs spending designed to outmaneuver Republicans as he takes aim at reelection.
But Obama’s possible Republican foe in November, Mitt Romney, slammed the document, which foresees a fourth consecutive year of budget deficits over $1 trillion, as “an insult” to American taxpayers.
“We have got to do everything in our power to keep this recovery on track,” Obama said, as he unveiled the blueprint, which frames his election message of restoring a “fair shot” for average Americans in a recovering economy.
“The last thing we need is for Washington to stand in the way of America’s comeback,” said Obama, unveiling the budget in symbolic territory in swing-state Virginia, which he hopes to win en route to a second term.
The plan projects a $1.3 trillion deficit for the current fiscal year and sees the shortfall dipping below the one trillion dollar mark in fiscal year 2013 at $901 billion.
According to the fiscal 2013 budget’s assumptions, unemployment will remain above six percent until 2017.
But the jobs forecasts were finalized in November however, before a sharp down tick in the jobless rate, so could prove to be too pessimistic.
Growth is expected to pick up from 2.7 percent this year to 3.0 percent in 2013 and 4.0 percent in 2014.
The budget calls for spending of $50 billion on roads, railways and airport runways designed to create thousands of short-term quality jobs.
It provides funds to modernize 35,000 schools and requires the Pentagon to rejig missions and force structures to spend $487 billion less than planned.
The budget also requires $364 billion in health savings, and would invest eight billion dollars in community college funds to train workers for in-demand industry sectors to encourage American jobs to return from overseas.
But it proposes a $226 million cut in NASA’s Mars robotic exploration program, likely axing a planned partnership with Europe and in further blow to those who see America’s space heritage being eroded.
Obama renewed his call for richer Americans to pay their “fair share” to revive the economy.
“We’ve got a choice. We can settle for a country where a few people do really, really well and everybody else struggles to get by,” Obama said.
“Or we can restore an economy where everybody gets a fair shot, everybody does their fair share, everybody plays by the same set of rules, from Washington to Wall Street to Main Street.”
The proposal calls on Congress to back the Buffett rule, named after billionaire financier Warren Buffett, designed to ensure no household earning more than one million dollars a year pays less than 30 percent in taxes.
It renews Obama’s call for the George W. Bush-era tax cuts to be repealed on Americans earning more than $250,000 a year.
Officials said the plan would include a $206 billion dollar proposal to tax dividends of the richest taxpayers at the rate of the top level of income tax.
Obama’s repeated attempts to repeal the Bush tax cuts and to bring in higher taxes for the rich have always foundered in Congress where they are opposed by Republicans as an impediment to small businesses and economic growth.
The plan made a new call for the previously thwarted Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee levied on the largest banks and finance firms to compensate taxpayers for government bailouts during the financial crisis.
The Obama budget is being seen on all sides as a partisan document that has little chance of being voted into law.
Democrats in the Senate say that they will not bring it up for a vote because the government is already financed through the next year on the basis of a spending agreement reached with Republicans in September.
Romney complained Obama had done nothing to take meaningful steps to solve funding problems for social programs like the Social Security retirement fund and the Medicare health care for seniors.
“I believe we can save Social Security and Medicare with a few commonsense reforms, and — unlike President Obama — I’m not afraid to put them on the table,” Romney said in a statement.
Republican Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell complained that the budget was less a serious spending plan than a “campaign document.”
“It’s bad for job creation, bad for seniors, and that it will make the economy worse.”
Entire CNN panel beats down Santorum for Ukraine misinformation: ‘You don’t get to decide what the facts are’
Conservative CNN contributor Rick Santorum was called out on Sunday after he seemed to be uneducated about President Donald Trump's attempt to have Ukraine investigate Joe Biden and his son.
During a panel discussion on CNN, Republican contributor Mia Love said that Trump's communication with Ukraine was not "appropriate" if he was looking for campaign help.
"There is no equivalence between Joe Biden and Hunter Biden and what this president has allegedly done," Democratic consultant Karen Finney noted. "The things that were investigated against the Bidens [were] shelved, totally debunked."
Tapper smacks Mnuchin with Trump kids’ international business deals after attack on Biden son
In a fairly contentious interview with Steve Mnuchin, CNN host Jake Tapper pointed out how Donald Trump's children -- Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric -- have been using their father's name to swing international deals after the Treasury secretary accused former Vice President Joe Biden's son of doing the same.
Mnuchin first dismissed reporting by the Washington Post and the conservative Wall Street Journal that Donald Trump was withholding Ukraine funding in an effort to get dirt on Biden and his son -- saying neither newspaper could be trusted -- he then complained to the CNN host about having to spend seven and a half minutes talking about Trump's Ukraine scandal.
‘You never cover this’: Giuliani has fresh meltdown on Fox News over Biden’s ‘drug addict’ son
President Donald Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, went on a conspiratorial rant on Sunday involving Joe Biden's son and billionaire George Soros.
During an appearance on FOX News Sunday, Biden tried to smear Hunter Biden as a corrupt "drug addict" was doing illegal business in the Ukraine.
According to the president's attorney, Biden tried to cover up his son's business dealings in a conspiracy that involves Soros.
Guest host John Roberts asked Giuliani if it was "appropriate" for him to try have to the Bidens investigated.
"This began with someone saying, this information can clear your client," Giuliani opined. "The corruption in Ukraine about the corruption in Ukraine between the Ukraine and the Democratic Party, the ambassador and the FBI agent who investigated."