President Obama introduced his fiscal 2014 budget to Congress Wednesday, a $3.77 trillion spending plan that would raise hundreds of billions in taxes and commit his administration to entitlement reform for the first time.
Responding to Republican accusations that his budget doesn’t trim deficits as much as he claims, Mr. Obama insisted “the numbers work.”
“There’s not a lot of smoke and mirrors in here,” Mr. Obama said in the White House Rose Garden as he presented the document with acting budget director Jeffrey Zients.
The budget proposal, which is nine weeks late, would replace the across-the-board “sequester” budget cuts that started March 1 with a mix of tax increases and more targeted program cuts. The blueprint also calls for more than $25 billion in specific spending cuts to 215 line items, slightly less than the $28 billion in individual program cuts that Mr. Obama sought last year.
Mr. Obama said the budget would reduce deficits by $1.8 trillion over 10 years, partly by raising $580 billion in additional revenue through closing loopholes for wealthier taxpayers and limiting tax deductions, as well as eliminating tax breaks for oil and gas companies. It would include $400 billion in budget cuts, divided evenly between defense and non-defense programs.
“If you’re serious about deficit reduction, there’s no reason to keep these loopholes open,” Mr. Obama said. “When it comes to deficit reduction, I’ve already met the Republicans more than halfway. Our deficits are already falling. My budget will reduce deficits by nearly another $2 trillion … but it does so in a balanced and responsible way.”
But congressional Republicans immediately countered that the president’s plan only reduces deficits by $119 billion over 10 years, when the cost of replacing the sequester cuts is factored in. GOP budget sources said Mr. Obama’s plan would raise taxes by $1 trillion over a decade, on top of the $600 billion in increased revenue he secured as part of the “fiscal cliff” deal on Jan. 1.
Mr. Obama’s budget never achieves balance, with a deficit projected at $439 billion in its 10th year.

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