U.S. President Barack Obama tried to seize the rhetorical high ground ahead of a budget battle with Republicans, saying Saturday that it was time to decide what kind of country America wants to be.
In his weekly address, Obama asked Americans if they wanted an economy "where only a few ... do spectacularly well" or one "where everyone who works hard has a chance to get ahead."
The address foreshadowed the upcoming budget and tax fights Obama will face with the Republican-controlled Congress. On Thursday, the White House unveiled a budget proposal that exceeds tough spending caps enacted by Congress four years ago.
The proposal, which also aims for new capital gains and bank taxes, has so far been publicly rejected by top Congressional leaders.
Obama said in the address that the budget sent to Congress was based on "the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules."
He said the proposal seeks to get rid of special interest loopholes in the tax code and use those savings to cut taxes for middle-class families and encourage businesses to invest domestically.
Obama said he was willing to work with Republicans if they have ideas to help middle-class families.