We’ll see if an attempt to walk down the middle on the budget makes either side happy. President Obama unveiled a budget blueprint with sharp cuts to federal programs, higher taxes on the wealthy and businesses, and a few spending increases on things like energy and education. Obama requests $1.6 trillion in new revenue, much of it coming from an end in 2012 to the recently extended Bush tax cuts, an end to subsidies for oil and gas companies, new taxes on hedge-fund managers, and other taxes on the wealthy and businesses. The new plan would take a year to affect the deficit, which would hit a record $1.6 trillion this year, fall to $1.1 trillion the next, and then settle at around $600 billion through 2018. Republicans were quick to attack the budget, saying it didn’t do enough to cut spending. The budget will be tough to swallow for some Democrats as well, as it promises to terminate more than 200 federal programs and cut spending on domestic programs to a level not seen since President Dwight D. Eisenhower left office in 1961.
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