Obama Unveils Budget

President Obama releases his first budget. The administration has outlined plans for health care, education and clean energy.

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NPR's business news starts with a budget from the president.

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MONTAGNE: So far, it's just a proposal, but it's a sign of how President Obama hopes to put his plans into reality. Details of the president's first-ever budget plan were submitted to Congress this morning. They show that the president hopes to raise billions of dollars by raising taxes for wealthier Americans. He wants to eliminate subsidies to some agricultural businesses.

Scott Horsley has more details on where the president would like to spend some extra dollars.

SCOTT HORSLEY: President Obama's 10-year spending plan sets aside more than $600 billion as a down payment on health care reform. About half that money would come from reallocating Medicare dollars. The rest would come from raising taxes on wealthy Americans. Mr. Obama would allow the Bush administration's tax cuts for families making more than a quarter million dollars a year to expire at the end of next year. He would also limit the tax deductions that top earners can take.

President BARACK OBAMA: With this budget, we are making a historic commitment to comprehensive health care reform. It's a step that will not only make families healthier and companies more competitive, but over the long term, it will also help us bring down our deficit.

HORSLEY: The president's spending plan would also extend the $400-a-year tax break for low and middle-income workers that was included in the stimulus bill. Money for that would come from new fees on carbon emissions, part of the president's proposed cap and trade system to cut down on greenhouse gases. The plan also suggests the administration may ask for another $250 billion to prop up the banking system, although officials say that figure is merely a placeholder. The budget summary released today leaves plenty of room for Congress to color in the outlines, but it makes clear Mr. Obama's desire to move forward with the health care, energy and tax proposals on which he campaigned.

Scott Horsley, NPR News, the White House.

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