WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is sending Congress a budget that would boost taxes on the wealthy and curtail Medicare payments to insurance companies and hospitals to make way for a $634 billion down payment on universal health care.
Obama's first budget predicts the deficit for this year will soar to a whopping $1.75 trillion, according to administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity before the public unveiling of the budget Thursday.
As part of the effort to end the nation's financial crisis, the administration will propose boosting the budget deficit by an additional $250 billion this year - to the record $1.75 trillion - enough to support as much as $750 billion more in spending under the government's rescue program for financial institutions. That would more than double the $700 billion bailout effort passed by Congress last October.
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