The Nation

Feb 15, 2011 2:05 PM by Greg Boyce

President defends his budget proposal

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says he expects there will be some "posturing on television," but he's confident that congressional leaders will try to find room to compromise on the budget issues in the coming months.

Obama says it will take both parties working together to figure out how to control the government's biggest expenses - Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The budget Obama sent to Congress yesterday ignores the view of his own deficit commission, which said that entitlement programs must be slashed.

Obama says he's confident changes can be made quickly on Social Security in order to avoid slashing payments and making the program stable for this generation and the next. But he says making changes to Medicare and Medicaid will be more difficult. Meanwhile, House Republicans are dismissing Obama's 2012 budget.

At a hearing on Capitol Hill, Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan accused the president of abdicating his leadership role by not tackling federal deficits more aggressively. White House budget director Jacob Lew countered that Obama's budget is filled with cuts to programs the president himself supports.




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