The Obama White House is making a public push for “significant” spending cuts as part of a deficit-reduction deal, marking an apparent departure from the days when President Obama urged lawmakers to use a “scalpel,” not a “machete,” to fix the nation’s budget woes.

After being branded by Republicans for the last two-and-a-half years as a chronic big spender, Obama and his aides are talking about deficit cuts — big ones — as something they wholeheartedly endorse.

Though he and the lawmakers involved in the talks would not get into the specifics about what is being discussed, White House Press Secretary Carney said savings would come from many fronts — including “painful but necessary” cuts in programs, cuts in defense spending, cuts in entitlement spending, cuts in health care costs and tax increases.

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