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Analysts hope for specifics in Obama’s budget plan

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JEREMY HOBSON: Today we’ll get a long-term deficit reduction plan from President Obama. You’ll remember last week we got a long-term plan from the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan. That plan cuts funding for Medicare and Medicaid. But does not raise taxes.

The President’s proposal is also expected to include changes to entitlement programs and cuts to military spending. But it is expected to include tax increases.

For more let’s go live to Mark Zandi, chief economist with Moody’s Analytics. He joins us now, good morning.

MARK ZANDI: Good morning Jeremy.

HOBSON: Well, what will you be watching for in the President’s speech today?

ZANDI: Specifics. You know the President laid out a budget back in February, but it was very light on detail. I am expecting a lot more information today about the spending cuts, tax increases that he plans to put forward to address out long-term fiscal problems. So I want some meat here.

HOBSON: And if you take what you’re expecting from the President — what we’re all expecting from the President — and what we’ve already seen from the republican Paul Ryan’s plan, where do you see the center of the debate heading when it comes to long term budget changes?

ZANDI: You know I think the center is pretty close to where the fiscal commission that reported out at the end of last year came out on this. And that would include some spending cuts, some entitlement reform, and some tax reform and tax increases. I think Congressman Ryan did shift the debate however. His emphasis on Medicare and Medicaid probably means that more of the onus of the future budget cutting will be on those programs.

HOBSON: Mark Zandi, chief economist with Moody’s Analytics. Thanks so much for your time.

ZANDI: Thank you.

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