By proposing smaller increases in Social Security and other government benefit programs, President Barack Obama says he's "met Republicans more than halfway."
Obama today sent a budget proposal to Congress -- one that seeks to tame runaway deficits by raising taxes on the wealthy and trimming the popular benefit programs.
But House Speaker John Boehner says Republicans aren't willing to go beyond the $660 billion in higher taxes that were approved in January.
Rep. Raul Ruiz had this to say about Obama's proposed budget:
"I was disappointed that the President's budget released today included cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Putting the burden of the national deficit on the backs of our seniors is wrong, and I will stand with our seniors to oppose any effort from either political party that would cut their hard-earned benefits and force them to pay even more out-of-pocket for health care. At a time when many seniors are barely making ends meet, we should be working in a bipartisan way to responsibly reduce the deficit and strengthen Medicare and Social Security, and I am committed to working with both political parties toward that end."
The budget plan would increase taxes by one trillion dollars over the next decade, but it relies on many proposals that have been repeatedly rejected by Congress.
One new proposal is a 94 cents-a-pack increase in the cigarette tax. The tax would raise an estimated $78 billion over the next decade to pay for early childhood education.