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Republicans lashed back that Obama is no voice of fiscal restraint as the deficit soars.
The president's plan would require Congress to pay for new entitlement spending, such as health care, by raising taxes or coming up with budget cuts -- a "pay-as-you-go" system that would have the force of law. Under the proposal, if new spending or tax reductions are not offset, there would be automatic cuts in so-called mandatory programs -- although Social Security payments and some other programs would be exempt.