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Obama budget strategy: Spur economy now, cut deficits over time

February 12, 2012|By Christi Parsons

Reporting from Washington — President Obama unveils a budget blueprint Monday designed to give the economy a shot in the arm while laying out a long-term plan to cut federal deficits, senior administration officials say.

The new budget is designed to reduce deficits by $4 trillion over the next decade by decreasing government spending and raising taxes on the wealthy.

After a year preoccupied with cutting spending, Obama’s budget plan raises questions about spending priorities and distribution of the tax burden.

“In the long term, we need to get the deficit under control in a way that builds the economy that can last for the future,” Obama Chief of Staff Jacob Lew said Sunday onABC's"This Week."

Obama wants to do that "in a way that's consistent with American values so that everyone pays a fair share," he said.

Republicans, meanwhile, are preparing to unveil a competing vision that focuses on smaller government, lower taxes and overhauling entitlement programs.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Sunday that he’s not worried that GOP plans to revamp Medicare could imperil the Republican majority in the House.

“I’m really not concerned about that,” Ryan told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, “because we're taking responsibility for dealing with the drivers of our debt.”

Medicare is going bankrupt, he said, and Republicans are looking for a bipartisan consensus on how to preserve the program.

Neither blueprint for the federal budget is likely to take effect, with political deadlock likely to accompany the presidential election year.

So each side will use its spending plan to describe its vision for the country. Obama kicks off his effort Monday with a visit to a community college in Annandale, Va., where he will talk about one feature of his proposal: an $8-billion investment in two-year colleges to make them “partners” with industry to train more high-demand workers.

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