WASHINGTON -- President Obama's political allies and enemies now have something in common -- they're not fans of the 2014 budget he unveiled Wednesday.
White House officials say the $3.8 trillion spending plan is proof of Obama's willingness to compromise with Congress.
"I don't believe that all these ideas are optimal, but I'm willing to accept them as part of a compromise if and only if they contain protections for the most vulnerable Americans," President Obama said.
Is the president's budget proposal really a compromise? Phil Kerpen, president of American Committment, addressed that question and more on Newswatch, April 10.
To get that done, the president's spending plan pushes money into projects like building roads and bridges, scientific research and education.
The White House says the budget also cuts the deficit by nearly $2 trillion over the next 10 years.
"If we're serious about deficit reduction, then these reforms have to go hand in hand with reforming our tax code to make it more simple and more fair, so that the wealthiest individuals and biggest corporations cannot keep taking advantage of loopholes and deductions that most Americans don't get," the president said.
To entice Republicans to consider raising taxes on top earners, the president's budget includes cuts to entitlement spending on Medicare.
"When it comes to deficit reduction, I've already met Republicans more than halfway," the president said. "So in the coming days and weeks I hope that Republicans will come forward and demonstrate that they're really as serious -- as serious about the deficits and debt as they claim to be."
Well-connected or not, for some lawmakers it's hard to take any budget plan and certainly tax increase seriously when tens of billions of tax dollars are being wasted by bureaucratic inefficiencies.
For example, on Medicaid alone the government wastes billions of dollars a year by simply paying too much for services.
Since 2002, the Department of Defense has gone from having two camouflage uniforms to seven. That costs tens of millions more and also makes it more difficult for service members to identify one another in combat.
It's one of dozens of recommendations offered by the Government Accountability Office to cut back government waste. The GAO also found that last year there were 700 government initiatives to do the same thing -- promote renewable energy.
"The hard-working American taxpayers have a hard enough time paying for something once, but paying for it twice is really a problem," Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said. But until Congress and the president act to cut that waste, taxpayers will keep right on paying for it.