*President Barack Obama sent Congress a $3.73 trillion budget Monday that holds out the prospect of eventually bringing deficits under control through spending cuts and tax increases.

But the fiscal blueprint largely ignores his own deficit commission’s view that the nation is imperiled unless huge entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare are slashed.

Obama called his new budget one of “tough choices and sacrifices,” but most of those cuts would be held off until after the end of his first term.

Overall, Obama proposed trimming the deficits by $1.1 trillion over a decade. The administration is projecting that the deficit will hit an all-time high of $1.65 trillion this year and then drop sharply to $1.1 trillion in 2012, with an expected improvement in the economy and as reductions in Social Security withholding and business taxes expire.

Obama’s 2012 budget would actually add $8 billion to the projected deficit for that year because the bulk of the savings he would achieve through a freeze in many domestic programs would be devoted to increased spending in areas Obama considers priorities, such as education, clean energy and high-speed rail.

“We have more work to do to live up to our promise by repairing the damage this brutal recession has inflicted on our people,” Obama said.

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