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Obama says his budget aims to reinvigorate middle class

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

US President Barack Obama said Saturday his budget blueprint due to be unveiled next week will aim to reinvigorate America's middle class while introducing reforms to curb the mushrooming deficits.

"Our top priority as a nation, and my top priority as president, must be doing everything we can to reignite the engine of America's growth: a rising, thriving middle class," Obama said in his weekly radio address. "That's our North Star. That must drive every decision we make."

The comments followed reports that in his budget proposal, Obama will make key concessions to Republicans by offering to cut some entitlement programs like the Social Security retirement program and Medicare, a health care plan for the elderly.

According to a senior administration official, the president's fiscal blueprint will slash the deficit by $1.8 trillion over 10 years, in what the official described as a "compromise offer" that cuts federal spending, finds savings in Social Security and raises tax revenue from the wealthy.

The president said his budget will reduce deficits not through spending cuts that will hurt students, seniors and middle-class families, "but through the balanced approach that the American people prefer, and the investments that a growing economy demands."

The proposal will also include closing tax loopholes for the wealthy, Obama said.

"It's a budget that doesn't spend beyond our means." he argued. "And it's a budget that doesn't make harsh and unnecessary cuts that only serve to slow our economy.... And we'll keep our promise to the next generation by investing in the fundamentals that have always made America strong -- manufacturing and innovation, energy and education."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130406/obama-says-his-budget-aims-reinvigorate-middle-class