Weighing the Pros and Cons of Obama's Budget

Analysts and pundits are spending much of this week breaking down President Obama's budget and the larger financial problems over the next decade. In Congress, Republicans are calling this a recipe for disaster, leaving Democrats to defend the reasons behind a record $1.56 trillion deficit.

On Monday's "Washington Unplugged," Nancy Cordes spoke with Democratic Strategist Taylor West.

"He is investing in the things in that budget that are going to help drive small business job creation," West said. "There are also quite a lot of economic and fiscal responsibility measures such as the spending freeze."

West added, "I don't think the president or any of the folks around him wanted to be in the position of having a record deficit created by 8 years of irresponsible spending by Republicans and the Bush Administration. But given that we're in that situation, we're taking the best possible measures top both create jobs for the economy and get us back on the track of fiscal responsibility."

Republican Strategist and former RNC spokesman Alex Conant responded, "Yes, the president is rolling out all of these pro-jobs, small business tax incentives. If these were such good ideas why didn't he propose them a year ago?"

"Republicans are going to work with him. The meeting he had with them Friday was a good first step. Republicans have been proposing a lot of ideas over the past year on how to create jobs and frankly the White House just hasn't been paying attention. Now they have to pay attention."

Watch Monday's "Washington Unplugged" featuring a roundtable with Taylor West and Alex Conant. Plus, an interview with actor Wilmer Valderrama promoting Hispanics to take part in the 2010 Census.

See the Full Budget
Obama's 2011 Budget Highlights
Obama: Taxes Can't be "Monopoly Money"
With Budget in Hand, Congress Starts Real Work
Deficit Declines Next Year, But Debt Keeps Soaring
Billions More for Schools, but with a Catch?

"Washington Unplugged" appears live on CBSNews.com each weekday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.