From VOA Learning English, this is IN THE NEWS.
This week, the Obama administration released a budget plan for the 2014 fiscal year. The plan calls for three trillion 770 billion dollars in federal spending during the year beginning in October.
President Barack Obama calls the proposal, "a fiscally responsible blueprint" for middle class jobs and economic growth. The budget is his attempt to move closer to a "grand bargain" he sought in debt and deficit reduction talks with Republican Party lawmakers.
The plan includes one-point-eight trillion dollars in deficit reduction over 10 years. It also adds two-point-five trillion dollars in savings the president says have already been realized. This would bring total savings to four-point-three trillion dollars.
Mr. Obama says his budget proposal seeks to end what he calls short-sighted, crisis-driven decision-making here in Washington.
"For years, the debate in this town has raged between reducing our deficits at all costs and making the investments necessary to grow our economy. And this budget answers that argument because we can do both. We can grow our economy and shrink our deficits."
To become law, the president's budget would require congressional approval, which political experts say is unlikely. His budget would replace tens of billions of dollars in required spending cuts. Those cuts went into effect on January first. Mr. Obama also wants to limit legal ways businesses and wealthy individuals can avoid paying taxes. And he wants to establish a minimum 30 percent tax on people earning one million dollars or more a year.
President Obama, who is a Democrat, says he has gone more than halfway to meet concerns of Republican lawmakers who have resisted tax increases.
House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, gives Mr. Obama credit for seeking more savings from Social Security and other big entitlement programs. But he says the president's proposals are another attempt to increase taxes.
"He does deserve some credit for some incremental entitlement reforms that he has outlined in his budget. But I would hope that he would not hold hostage these modest reforms for his demand for bigger tax hikes."
The president is proposing savings by using a new method to set cost of living increases for Social Security payments. But this proposal has angered many members of Mr. Obama's Democratic Party.
Another critic, Senator Bernie Sanders, is an independent. He says the proposal is a cancellation of a promise Mr. Obama made as a presidential candidate.
"When Barack Obama was running for president in 2008, he said that he would not cut Social Security."
Mr. Obama defended his Social Security offer and changes to Medicare, the health insurance program for older adults and Americans with disabilities. But he says any compromise must not hurt Americans who depend on these programs.
"I do not believe that all these ideas are optimal. But I am willing to accept them as part of a compromise, if and only if they contain protections for the most vulnerable Americans.
President Obama's budget will go nowhere without the support of the two main political parties. Senate Democrats and House Republicans have their own separate spending plans.
1.fiscally adv. 财政上
Alarm about Greece - and other fiscally unstable countries in Europe - has dragged down the euro sharply.
2.short-sighted adj. 目光短浅的；近视的
This short-sighted policy led to fatal results.
3.rage vi. 大怒，发怒；流行，风行
She raged against her husband for some household affairs.
4.incremental adj. 增加的，增值的
We are seeking continuous, incremental improvements, not great breakthroughs.
5.tax hike [税收] 赋税增加
He was firmly against the tax hike.
总统巴拉克·奥巴马称该计划是为帮助中产阶级就业和促进经济增长而制定的“负责人的财政蓝图” 。他希望通过该预算计划实现他与共和党议员就债务与赤字削减对话的大妥协 。
该计划包括，在10年内将赤字削减1.8万亿美元，还增加了2.5万亿美元的储蓄，总统说这个目标已经实现 。这样总的储蓄将达到4.3万亿美元 。
总统的预算要成为法律还需得到议会批准，而政治专家称这是不可能的 。他的预算将替换掉数百亿美元必要的开支削减，这些削减计划已于1月1日生效 。奥巴马还希望限制商业和富人逃税的法律途径 。他希望对年收入100万美元以上的人征收至少30%的税收 。
“他的预算计划中提出了一些增量权利改革，这点确实值得赞扬 。但我希望他不要劫持这些适度改革，为自己增税的目的服务 。”
总统提议通过增加社会保障费用来提高生活成本，从而增加储蓄 。但该提议惹恼了奥巴马的民主党阵营中的很多成员 。
奥巴马对自己的社会保障提议、医疗保险修改、老年人和残疾人医疗保险计划辩护 。但他说任何妥协都不能损害那些依赖这些项目的美国人的利益 。
没有两大政党的支持，总统奥巴马的预算也就没有意义 。参议院的民主党的共和党都有各自的开支计划 。