President Barack Obama is telling congressional Republicans that he is still willing to reduce the deficit but only with a mix of increased taxes and reduced spending, an offer he made during budget talks that collapsed at the end of last year. Republicans say they reject raising more tax revenue.
In his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, Obama is reiterating his proposal to reduce spending by $900 billion and increase taxes by $600 billion through a tax overhaul. The combined $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction would also reduce government payments on the debt. Obama intends to use some of those savings to pay for initiatives meant to create jobs.
The $900 billion in cuts include reductions of $400 billion in spending on Medicare and other health care programs.