BUDGET BATTLE

Obama to Call for $4T in Deficit Cuts

President Obama will lay out a plan to reduce the federal deficit by some $4 trillion over the next 12 years during a major deficit speech Wednesday afternoon. That’s a big number, but not as large as the $4.4 trillion that Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP budget boss, proposed last week. Obama is expected to use the speech to defend the Medicare and Medicaid programs, to which Ryan proposes radical changes. Both sides agree that cost controls are necessary, but disagree on whether the programs should provide essentially the same set of services.