President Obama trumpeted his proposed federal budget for next fiscal year on Monday, calling his combination of tax hikes and spending increases a “smarter” blueprint for boosting the middle class.
“It helps working families' paychecks go further,” Obama said of his $4 trillion budget. “It gives Americans of every age a chance to succeed.”
Obama's budget released Monday offered few concessions to a Republican-controlled Congress, proposing hundreds of billions of dollars in tax increases to pay for his progressive economic proposals.
"The budget I’ve sent Congress today is fully paid for through a combination of smart spending cuts and tax reforms,” Obama insisted in remarks at the Department of Homeland Security.
The president, however, did not mention that his budget assumes a $474 billion deficit in fiscal 2016.
Obama would like to increase the capital gains tax rate on couples earning more than $500,000 annually, charge capital gains on assets passed on to heirs and place a new tax on big banks. He also wants a one-time 14 percent tax rate on companies bringing profits home from overseas.
In turn, Obama will call for a tripling of the childcare tax credit, an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit and more federal funding for higher education.
“We've just got to be smarter about how we pay for our priorities,” Obama said, railing against mandatory, across-the-board spending cuts that went into effect two years ago.
“I'm not going to accept a budget that locks in sequestration going forward,” he insisted.
The president also said he would not accept a funding plan that rolls back the defense cuts, but does not restore discretionary spending that was slashed in 2013.
Republicans, not surprisingly, were unmoved by the president's appeal.
“Our nation is on a fiscal and economic path that is simply unsustainable, said House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, R-Ga., and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi, R- Wyo., in a joint statement. "Failed policies and stale thinking in Washington are contributing to a growing mountain of debt and an underperforming economy. That’s why it’s so disturbing that President Obama has submitted yet another budget proposal that is focused on the same tired agenda that has failed to deliver for American families.”