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Obama seeks 94-cent tax hike on cigarettes

Cigarette packs at a convenience store in New York.

Mark Lennihan/AP

Cigarette packs at a convenience store in New York.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s budget plan would increase taxes by $580 billion over the next decade, but it relies on many proposals that have been repeatedly rejected by Congress.

Some were rejected as recently as January, when Congress voted to make permanent a series of tax cuts first enacted under President George W. Bush. Among them, a proposal to limit itemized deductions for high-income families.

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One new proposal is a 94 cents-a-pack increase in the cigarette tax. The tax would raise an estimated $78 billion over the next decade to pay for early childhood education.

Obama says his tax plan is part of a balanced approach to deficit reduction that includes painful cuts to benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare. Most GOP lawmakers, however, adamantly oppose new taxes.

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