President Obama will lay out a budget blueprint on Monday that amounts to an election-year bet that a plan for higher taxes on the rich and more spending on popular programs like infrastructure and manufacturing will trump concerns over the deficit.
The new budget proposal contrasts with the deficit-cutting promises that attended the budget rollout last year and the debates that followed. Figures released on Friday indicate that the White House foresees a slightly higher deficit in the current fiscal year than the $1.3 trillion deficit of the 2011 fiscal year, even after the budget battles that dominated Washington last year.
The deficit is projected to fall to $901 billion in the fiscal year that starts in October, the first time since 2008 that the red ink would be below the $1 trillion mark. But last year, the White House had projected the 2013 deficit dropping further, to $768 billion.
Under White House projections, the deficit would reach $575 billion in 2018, or 2.7 percent of the economy, before rising again to $704 billion in 2022, or 2.8 percent.
The highlights of the plan for the 2013 fiscal year may not be those bottom-line figures but the spending inside.
A senior administration official on Friday evening framed the budget as the third act in a three-act play, which started with the fiery populism of Mr. Obama’s December speech in Osawatomie, Kan., continued with his State of the Union address and ends with a politically freighted budget rollout on Monday at a community college in the electoral battleground of Northern Virginia. Budget unveilings are usually handled in Washington by White House staff and cabinet members, with a brief message from the president.
The budget document distributed on Friday on Capitol Hill was permeated by the language of Mr. Obama’s State of the Unionaddress and his call “to construct an economy that is built to last.” But the words and the policies hark back to the first year of Mr. Obama’s presidency and his call for a “New Foundation.”
In essence, Mr. Obama will campaign on a vow to stay the course.
“We must transform our economy from one focused on speculating, spending and borrowing to one constructed on the solid foundation of educating, innovating, and building,” the document states.
As Democrats promote the revival of manufacturing, the president will call for an additional $2.2 billion for advanced manufacturing research and development, a 19 percent leap over the current year. In all, Mr. Obama will seek a 5 percent increase in nonmilitary research spending.
For more immediate job programs, the White House will urge $350 billion in short-term job spending, as well as a six-year transportation and infrastructure program that would cost $476 billion. He will ask for $60 billion to refurbish at least 35,000 schools and help state and local governments hire and retain teachers, firefighters and police officers.
Tens of billions of dollars have already been spent on such efforts through the stimulus program passed in 2009, and Republicans in Congress — intent on calling the first effort a failure — are not about to embark on a new round.