The Obama administration unveiled their 2013 budget today, which calls for higher taxes but also acknowledges higher debt.
Let's just get this out of the way up front: The administration acknowledges that President Obama's promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term will not happen. So yes, it's a broken promise. Blame Wall Street for that.
Via Washington Post:
In a written message to Congress, Obama issued a passionate election-year call for increased spending to bolster domestic manufacturing, lure jobs back from overseas, hire teachers, retrain workers and rebuild the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. He drew a sharp contrast with his Republican opponents, arguing that his approach “rejects the ‘you’re on your own’ economics” that envision tax cuts for the rich and a frayed social safety net for everyone else, and “have led to a widening gap between the richest and poorest Americans.”
The President's budget proposal calls for big investments in infrastructure, education, and jobs programs with cuts to discretionary spending. It is, however, a two-pronged approach. His call for passage of the Buffett rule, taxation of dividends at ordinary income rates, and other tax increases for the wealthy are part of a separate tax reform initiative unrelated to the budget outlined by the White House.
Ezra Klein has more wonky details, comparing Obama's budget to Mitt Romney's proposals:
Obama’s plan would raise revenues to 19.2 percent of GDP. Most of that would come from people making more than $250,000 a year. Back in September, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center ran the numbers on his proposal — which is unchanged in the budget — and they estimated that taxpayers in the bottom 20 percent would pay an average federal tax rate of 1.8 percent, those in the middle 20 percent would pay 15.2 percent, and the top 1 percent would pay 36.3 percent.
Romney’s plan cuts taxes to about 17 percent of GDP. Most of those cuts would accrue to upper-income Americans. According to the Tax Policy Center, under Romney’s plan, taxpayers in the bottom 20 percent would pay a rate of 3.4 percent, those in the middle 20 percent would pay a rate of 15.6 percent, and the top 1 percent would pay 25.9 percent.
Here's reality. It's unlikely that any of this will actually pass with this Congress, but it sharply defines the differences in values between today's Republican party and the Democrats. It offers a narrative with the full understanding that this Congress, in this time, is as likely to pass this as is likely that pigs will fly to the moon in the next 24 hours.
If you read the whole article you'll find no mention of the fact that the GOP has refused to take yes for an answer despite the president practically begging them to brutally slash all the programs they purport to hate. You cannot tell this story properly without that context.