ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Deficit hawk Erskine Bowles, who chaired President Barack Obama's deficit commission three years ago, said Monday that Obama's recent budget plan offers the "seeds of hope" for a Washington budget deal.

Bowles said Obama's budget is a "substantial step forward" because the president takes on Democratic sacred cows like Social Security with a plan to curb the annual cost-of-living benefit increases of the program.

But Bowles, author of a painful 2010 deficit plan mostly shunned by Obama, says he's coming out with a new plan on Friday with deeper cuts to Medicare and the Pentagon than Obama is proposing. Despite his praise for Obama, Bowles said the administration's plan doesn't go far enough to curb the growth of the government's debt.

Bowles said his new plan would propose cutting the deficit by $2.5 trillion over the coming decade. Obama's plan claims $1.8 trillion in deficit cuts. Since Republicans reclaimed the House in 2011, Obama has signed $2.7 trillion or so in deficit curbs over 10 years, most of which have come by clamping down on the annual growth of the agency budgets passed by Congress each year.

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