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First Budget Plan from Democrats in Four Years

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Calling it "a balanced and fair approach" to solving the nation's red ink, Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray on Wednesday officially unveiled the Democrats' budget proposal that focuses on both spending cuts and boosting tax revenue.

Murray said the plan would stand in marked contrast to what Wisconsin Republican Congressman Paul Ryan proposed the day before, adding, "The American people...are going to be able to decide which approach is best for our economy, best for jobs and best for the middle class."

Essentially, the blueprint is what President Obama envisioned although it's highly unlikely any Republican will jump on board.

Among other things, the Ryan plan calls for repealing the Affordable Care Act, eventually switching over Medicare to a voucher system and establishing two tax brackets at 10 percent and 25 percent.

Murray, a Washington Democrat, and her colleagues don't propose any of that.  The first budget offered since 2009 calls for eliminating tax breaks and loopholes for the wealthy and corporations and spending more on roads and schools to boost jobs and protect the middle-class.

The Democrats' goal is to protect the Holy Trinity of entitlements: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid with some modest reforms to make them viable for future generations.

Essentially, $1 trillion in spending cuts over the next 10 years would be matched by the same amount in new revenue.  In addition to slicing $275 billion from Medicare and Medicaid, $240 billion would be cut from the Pentagon budget through 2013.

Murray told reporters, "That is a responsible approach.  It's a balanced and fair approach.  It's the one endorsed by bipartisan groups and experts, and it's the one supported by the vast majority of the American people."

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