President Barack Obama proposed a $3.901 trillion budget on Tuesday that would expand a tax credit popular with lower- and middle-class families and pay for it by closing a controversial tax loophole deployed by some Wall Street firms.
"Our budget is about choices, it's about values," he said. "As a country, we've got to make a decision if we're gonna protect tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans or if we're gonna make smart investments necessary to create jobs and grow our economy and expand opportunity for every American."
Obama used a Washington elementary school as a backdrop for the speech, saying his budget was designed with the students' generation "and future generations in mind."
His budget calls for a number of education initiatives, including a "preschool for all" partnership with states to provide all low- and moderate-income four-year-olds with access to preschool, while encouraging states to expand programs to reach additional children from middle-class families and establish full-day kindergarten policies.
His plan also calls for access to high-quality infant and toddler care to more than 100,000 children through Early Head Start-child care partnerships, and supports Head Start grantees who are expanding programs.
He would pay for several of the initiatives by raising federal tobacco taxes, which the White House says "will also help discourage youth smoking and save lives."
He said his budget also includes more than $1 billion to help communities grapple with climate change, he said.
He said it reduces deficits to 1.6 percent of GDP by 2024, and stabilizes debt as a share of the economy by 2015.
And his budget creates 45 high-tech manufacturing hubs where he said "businesses and universities will partner to turn groundbreaking research into new industries and new jobs made in America." It also expands apprenticeships, which Obama said would connect "ready to work Americans with ready to be filled jobs."