President Obama on Saturday laid down his marker in the looming budget battle, saying his upcoming blueprint will reduce the national deficit while stimulating growth among the middle class.
"While it’s not my ideal plan to further reduce the deficit, it’s a compromise I’m willing to accept," the president said during his weekly address.
"My budget will reduce our deficits -- not with aimless, reckless spending cuts that hurt students and seniors and middle-class families – but through the balanced approach that the American people prefer, and the investments that a growing economy demands," Obama said.
House and Senate lawmakers already approved their own version of the budget earlier this year.
The House plan cuts $5.7 trillion in spending and anticipates a balanced budget within 10 years. The Senate plan raises taxes by $1 trillion and does not include any budget balancing goals.
Both plans passed each chamber along strictly party-line votes.
The administration's spending proposal will represent a "balanced approach" between nearly $2 trillion in deficit-reduction measures coupled with "critical investments" to accelerate job growth among the middle class, the president said Saturday.
This approach, according to Obama, is his attempt to "move beyond [the] cycle of short-term, crisis-driven decision-making" that has dominated the budget debate in Congress.
"It’s a budget that doesn’t spend beyond our means. And it’s a budget that doesn’t make harsh and unnecessary cuts that only serve to slow our economy," he said during the address.
In a nod to House Republicans, Obama vowed to make the "tough reforms required to strengthen" Medicare and other social welfare programs.
Spending for many of those programs was cut under the House budget plan.
Those reforms will be paired with "commonsense tax reform" that will close a number of loopholes in the current code, he added.
On the investment side, Obama's budget follows up on the administration's goals to increase high-tech manufacturing jobs and eliminate some of the governmental red tape hindering the growth of small businesses.
The president's spending plan also accelerates public infrastructure programs, to "put people to work building new roads, bridges, and schools," Obama said.
"All of these investments will help grow the economy and create jobs. None of them will add to the deficit," he added.