Barack Obama's budget chief is on Capitol Hill defending the president's $3.6 trillion budget for next year as an honest accounting of the government's bleak fiscal woes.
Budget director Peter Orszag says Obama inherited a whopping deficit and an economy in crisis but that shouldn't block investments in education and an overhaul of the U.S. health care system to help the uninsured.
Orszag defended Obama's plan to raise taxes on people making $250,000 or more, saying the tax policies of President Bush transferred too much wealth to the rich.
Obama's budget is a nonbinding plan that will be reviewed extensively by Congress. It's an ambitious rewrite of the nation's priorities on health care, taxes and global warming, but faces big challenges because of its numerous controversial proposals.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)