In a significant shift in fiscal strategy, Mr. Obama on Wednesday will send a budget plan to Capitol Hill that departs from the usual presidential wish list that Republicans typically declare dead on arrival.
Instead it will embody the final compromise offer that he made to Speaker John A. Boehner late last year, before Mr. Boehner abandoned negotiations in opposition to the presidentâ€™s demand for higher taxes from wealthy individuals and some corporations.
That proposal included $400 billion in savings to Medicare over 10 years.
“The president’s budget to be presented on Wednesday will show how we can invest in the things we need to grow our economy, create jobs and strengthen the middle class while further reducing the deficit in a balanced way,” a senior administration official said.
However, President Barack Obama says his soon-to-be released budget, already criticized by friends and foes, is not his “ideal plan” but offers “tough reforms” for benefit programs and scuttles some tax breaks for the wealthy.
In his first comments about a budget he is to release Wednesday, Obama said he intends to reduce deficits while at the same time providing new spending for public works projects, early education and job training.
“We don’t have to choose between these goals – we can do both,” Obama said in his weekly radio and internet address.
Obama’s budget calls for slower growth in government benefits programs for the poor, veterans and the elderly, as well as higher taxes, primarily from the wealthy.
Some of its details, made public Friday, drew a fierce response from liberals, labor unions and advocates for older Americans and prompted an unimpressed reaction from Republican House Speaker John Boehner.
“It’s a compromise I’m willing to accept in order to move beyond a cycle of short-term, crisis-driven decision-making, and focus on growing our economy and our middle class for the long run,” Obama said.
Mr. Obama will propose other spending and tax credit initiatives, including aid for states to make free prekindergarten education available nationwide â€” a priority outlined in his State of the Union address in February.
He will propose to pay for it by raising federal taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products.
The plan would also close a current loophole that allows people to collect disability and unemployment benefits at the same time, a move that could create savings for the government, officials said.
Obama proposes spending cuts and revenue increases that would result in $1.8 trillion in deficit reductions over 10 years, replacing $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts that are otherwise poised to take effect over the next 10 years.
The main deficit reduction elements of the plan incorporate an offer Obama made to Boehner in December when both sought to avoid automatic, across-the-board spending cuts and broad tax increases, says the Huff Post.
In his address, Obama said he would achieve deficit reduction by making “tough reforms” to Medicare and enacting “common-sense tax reform that includes closing wasteful tax loopholes for the wealthy and well-connected.”
Obama made no mention of the effect his budget would have on Social Security and other social safety net programs. That idea drew a hostile reaction from some of his most ardent political backers.
Previously White House officials would only say the budget was coming the week of April 8, without revealing a specific date. Republicans were sharply critical of the delay, which came after protracted negotiations over spending cuts and tax rates.