WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is criticizing a proposed House Republican budget, saying it would turn Medicare into a voucher-like program, cut deeply into programs such as Medicaid and increase tax payments by the middle class in order to achieve promised lower tax rates.
Asked in an ABC World News interview Tuesday whether he will propose a budget that balances in 10 years, Obama said he would not.
He said his "goal is not to chase a balanced budget just for the sake of balance." He said he wants to improve the economy and put people in jobs. "If we do that we are going to be bringing in more revenue," he said.
He said Republican House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's budget reprises budgets he has proposed before.
Ryan and House Republicans, who were to meet with Obama at the Capitol at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, put forward their 2014 budget fully mindful that it would be dead on arrival at the White House and in the Democratic-controlled Senate. The plan, which the White House immediately panned, doubles down on longstanding Republican proposals to slash funding for programs Obama and Democrats sorely want to protect. It includes a repeal of Obama's health care law -- a major component of his legacy -- and Medicare changes that would shift more of the cost to future patients.
At the same time, Obama hasn't budged from his insistence that any budget include new tax revenues -- the key sticking point in February's failed attempt to avert $85 billion in automatic spending cuts that both parties agreed made for bad policy. And Senate Democrats were to unveil a counterproposal Wednesday that aides said would raise taxes by almost $1 trillion and would use savings to repeal the automatic spending cuts -- a nonstarter for House Republicans.
The resolve from both sides to dig in their heels on the most contentious issues raises an important question about Obama's efforts to make nice with Republicans: What's the point?
"We're not naive. There are disagreements and obstacles," White House press secretary Jay Carney said. "But the president is at the head of this effort because he believes deeply in it."