The US President has unveiled a $4 trillion budget for 2016 that will increase taxes on higher-income Americans and provide tax relief for the middle-class.

President Barack Obama said his plans were “practical” and “not partisan,” as Monday’s tax hikes totaling $2 trillion were unveiled.

Obama said his proposal would “help working families feel more secure with paychecks that go further,” in a move likely to anger his Republican rivals.

The budget includes $478 billion to upgrade infrastructure and sizable measures to cut costs for people paying for child care and education – touchstone issues for Democrats.

Overturning mandatory caps on defence and other spending, the budget will add $474 billion to US debt.

In the run-up to the it’s release, the Obama administration said the US economy had improved enough to raise some taxes and increase spending to help Americans who haven’t benefited from the recovery.

Obama’s 2016 budget assumes the world’s largest economy will grow at about 3.1 percent this calendar year, with unemployment at 5.4 percent and inflation of 1.4 percent.
The deficit for 2016 would stand at 2.5 percent, comfortably below the three percent level economists deem sustainable.

The budget also includes spending to counter “Russian pressure and aggressive action” in eastern Europe.

Ukraine would receive $117 million in funding, as well as a possible $1 billion sovereign loan guarantee for 2016.

Moldova and Georgia would get $51 million “for countering Russian pressure and destabilizing activities.”

There would also be funding to help defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), around $1 billion to boost governance in Central America, the starting point for many migrants arriving in the US, and $14 billion to support cybersecurity.

Republicans, however, say Obama’s proposals would threaten the recovery and the focus should be on eliminating the budget deficit.


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