At a White House press conference Tuesday to defend his 2012 budget proposal, President Obama likened the government's handling of its money to that of American families. "Just like every family in America, the federal government has to do two things at once," said Obama. "It has to live within its means while still investing in the future." The president said that the government, like families around the country, have to "cut back on what you can't afford to focus on what you can't do without." Obama said his proposal makes cuts to programs he cares "deeply" about, like community action programs in low income neighborhoods and the scaling back of conservation programs. But, he said, "cutting domestic discretionary spending alone won't be enough to meet our long term fiscal challenges," and that his administration is "eager to tackle excessive spending wherever we find it," whether it be in defense or healthcare spending or embedded in the tax code. The president said he is "willing to work with everybody on Capitol Hill to simplify the tax code," and called for both parties to work together to get the nation's financial house in order. "We have found common ground before," said Obama who referred to the partnerships between President Ronald Reagan and House Speaker Tip O'Neill on Social Security and between President Bill Clinton and his Republican Congress on balancing the budget.
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