WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama sent Congress a $3.83 trillion budget on Monday that would pour more money into the fight against high unemployment, boost taxes on the wealthy and freeze spending for a wide swath of government programs.
The deficit for this year would surge to a record-breaking $1.56 trillion, topping last year’s then unprecedented $1.41 trillion gap. The deficit would remain above $1 trillion in 2011 although the president proposed to institute a three-year budget freeze on a variety of programs outside of the military and homeland security as well as increasing taxes on energy producers and families making more than $250,000.
Echoing the pledge in his State of the Union address to make job creation his top priority, Obama put forward a budget that included a $100 billion jobs measure that would provide tax breaks to encourage businesses to boost hiring as well as increased government spending on infrastructure and energy projects. He called for fast congressional action to speed relief to millions left unemployed in the worst recession since the 1930s.
After a protracted battle on health care dominated his first year in office and led to a string of Democratic election defeats, the administration hopes its new budget will convince Americans the president is focused on fixing the economy.