The "pay-as-you-go" budget formula plan is significantly weaker than a proposal Obama issued with little fanfare last month.
It would carve out about $2.5 trillion worth of exemptions for Obama's priorities over the next decade. His health care reform plan also would get a green light to run big deficits in its early years. But over a decade, Congress would have to come up with money to cover those early year deficits.
Obama's latest proposal for addressing deficits urges Congress to pass a law requiring lawmakers to pay for new spending programs and tax cuts without further adding to exploding deficits projected to total about $10 trillion over the next decade.
If new spending or tax reductions are not offset, there would be automatic cuts in so-called mandatory programs -- although Social Security payments and the Medicaid health care program for poor and disabled would be exempt and cuts to Medicare would be sharply limited.
"The 'pay-as-you-go' rule is very simple," Obama said. "Congress can only spend a dollar if it saves a dollar elsewhere."
I'll stop here so you can enjoy a quick chuckle.