Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Can Obama’s Expensive Budget Withstand Attacks from the Republican Party?

Republicans attacked President Obama's proposed $3.6 trillion budget Tuesday as offering "red ink as far as the eye can see," and Democrats even suggested that the president might be trying to solve too many problems at once.

As administration officials trekked to Capitol Hill to defend Obama's budget, they were met with skepticism from both sides of the aisle because of the huge changes the president has promised to make in taxes, health care, energy and education.

THE OVAL: Proposals and analysis

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and White House Budget Director Peter Orszag, in separate appearances, stuck to the administration line that the president's budget would benefit 95% of working Americans.

Higher taxes for affluent Americans would not come until 2011 once "we are safely into recovery," Geithner told the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

"I'm confident this is the right path for the country," he said.

But Republicans disagreed.

"The president's budget increases taxes on every American, and does so during a recession," Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., told Geithner.

Camp also complained about provisions that would limit the size of charitable deductions that could be taken by families earning more than $250,000 a year.

Orszag faced similar questioning before the House Budget Committee.

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