Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Obama Previews His Budget, Talks About Taxes


President Obama will release his first full budget on Thursday, but he previewed parts of it during his speech tonight to Congress.

One of the main headlines from this section of the speech is his call to change the way the budget deficit is counted.

"I am committed to restoring a sense of honesty and accountability to our budget," he said. "That is why this budget looks ahead ten years and accounts for spending that was left out under the old rules – and for the first time, that includes the full cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. For seven years, we have been a nation at war. No longer will we hide its price."

He also said his team is going to "go line by line through the federal budget in order to eliminate wasteful and ineffective programs." He said the administration has found "two trillion dollars in savings over the next decade."

Lastly, in this section of the speech, Mr. Obama addressed taxes and his campaign promised most often mentioned by Republicans – to raise taxes on the wealthy.

"Let me perfectly clear, because I know you’ll hear the same old claims that rolling back these tax breaks means a massive tax increase on the American people: if your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime," Mr. Obama said. "I repeat: not one single dime. In fact, the recovery plan provides a tax cut – that’s right, a tax cut – for 95% of working families. And these checks are on the way."

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