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Obama sells budget as effort to 'keep this recovery on track'

February 13, 2012|By Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey
  • President Obama delivers remarks to students at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va.
President Obama delivers remarks to students at Northern Virginia Community… (Win McNamee / Getty Images )

Reporting from Washington —

President Obama gave Congress a budget this morning that calls for $3.8 trillion in spending next year -- $901 billion more than the government will take in.

Obama said the country can't just "cut our way to growth," speaking to a group of students at a northern Virginia community college as the details of his proposal became public.

"The main idea in the budget is this: At a time when our economy is growing and creating jobs at a faster clip, we've got to do everything in our power to keep this recovery on track," Obama said.

The deficit projections in the president’s budget make clear that Obama would not make good on a promise to cut the deficit in half in his first term. Obama made the promise in 2009, when the deficit hit $1.4 trillion. The budget estimates a $1.3-trillion deficit in 2012, a slight increase over 2011.

But cutting the deficit is only "part of our job," Obama said this morning. By reducing the deficit over the long term, Obama said, the government will be able to invest in things that will "help grow our economy right now."

That means the wealthy are going to have to pay more, Obama told the crowd.

It's just a matter of math, he said, "that folks like me are going to have to do a little bit more."

cparsons@latimes.com
kathleen.hennessey@latimes.com

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