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Obama says he's gone more than half-way

Wednesday - 4/10/2013, 5:30pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- 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 (BAY'-nur) says Republicans aren't willing to go beyond the $660 billion in higher taxes that were approved in January.

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.

%@AP Links

265-a-10-(Gene Sperling, chairman, National Economic Council, at news conference)-"and what matters"-White House economic adviser Gene Sperling says critics shouldn't lose sight of the bottom line: which is that Obama's budget will bring red ink down to historically low levels. (10 Apr 2013)

<> 00:10 "and what matters"

271-w-35-(Jerry Bodlander, AP correspondent, with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.)--Congressional Republicans don't think much of the president's budget proposal. AP correspondent Jerry Bodlander reports. (10 Apr 2013)

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264-a-09-(Gene Sperling, chairman, National Economic Council, at news conference)-"long-term fiscal future"-White House economic adviser Gene Sperling says curbing the growth of federal benefits is key to a budget compromise. (10 Apr 2013)

<> 00:09 "long-term fiscal future"

213-a-05-(House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, at news conference)-"the American people"-House Speaker John Boehner says the president's call for more tax hikes is a non-starter. (10 Apr 2013)

<> 00:05 "the American people"

GRAPHICSBANK: Barack Obama headshot, as US President, over 2014 US Government Budget book, partial graphic (10 Apr 2013)

APPHOTO GFX625: Graphic shows major points of President Obama's FY 2014 budget and comparisons with other plans (10 Apr 2013)

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APPHOTO DCSA114: House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 10, 2013, following a Republican strategy session, and the release of President Barack Obama's proposed fiscal 2014 federal budget. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (10 Apr 2013)

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APPHOTO DCSW105: President Barack Obama, accompanied by acting Budget Director Jeffrey Zients, speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Wednesday April 10, 2013, to discuss his proposes fiscal 2014 federal budget. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (10 Apr 2013)

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