President Barack Obama rolled out a $3.78 trillion budget Wednesday, angering Republicans with a call for higher taxes on the rich while worrying liberals by countenancing cuts to retirement benefits.
Much was familiar in Obama’s blueprint, rooted in his enduring campaign to shield the American middle class and to cut deficits without massive cuts in infrastructure, education spending and cherished social programs.
The plan effectively set Obama’s battle lines ahead of a new fiscal showdown with Republicans, and was largely an academic exercise since it has no chance of being enacted in full in divided Washington.
“For years, the debate in this town has raged between reducing our deficits at all costs and making the investments necessary to grow our economy,” Obama said on an unseasonably warm morning in the White House Rose Garden.
“This budget answers that argument, because we can do both. We can grow our economy, and shrink our deficits.”