The president said Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet speech he wanted to "talk plainly" about what's needed to bolster the economy and create jobs.
"It begins by ending what has done more than anything else to undermine our economy over the past few years -- and that's the constant cycle of manufactured crises and self-inflicted wounds," he said.
"And one way to do that is through the budget that Congress started working on this week."
Obama made it clear he wants a budget that includes targeted higher taxes and spending.
"We can keep wasteful corporate tax giveaways that working folks don't get -- or we could close those loopholes and use that money to pay for things that actually create jobs," he said.
"We can keep harmful cuts to education programs -- or we could give more kids a head start, hire more teachers in math and science, and help more kids afford a college education.
"We can keep doling out corporate welfare to big oil companies -- or we could keep investing in the renewable energy that creates jobs and lowers our carbon pollution.
"Priorities. Choices. That's what this is about. And the stakes for the middle class couldn't be higher. If we don't pick the right priorities now, make the right choices now, we could hinder growth and opportunity for decades, and leave our children with something less.
"That includes the obsession with cutting just for the sake of cutting. That hasn't helped our economy grow; it's held it back.
"Here's the bottom line. Congress should pass a budget that cuts things we don't need, and closes wasteful tax loopholes that don't help create jobs, so that we can free up resources for the things that actually do create jobs and growth.