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Obama budget doubles tax on cigarettes

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is sending Congress a $3.8 trillion spending blueprint that strives to achieve a "grand bargain" to tame runaway deficits. It would raise taxes on the wealthy and trim popular benefit programs including as Social Security and Medicare.

The budget would also nearly double the federal tax on cigarettes to $1.95 per pack. That money would fund a new pre-school program for 4-year-olds.

The president's budget projects deficit reductions of $1.8 trillion over the next decade, achieved with higher taxes, reductions in payments to Medicare providers and trims in the cost-of-living adjustments paid to millions of recipients in Social Security and other government programs.

The president proposes spending $3.8 trillion in the 2014 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, up 2.5 percent from this year.

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