The President’s budget proposal has three clear objectives: strengthening our middle class, protecting the economic recovery and responsibly reducing the deficit. Obama’s budget doesn’t privatize or eliminate social insurance programs like Social Security and Medicare. Instead, it seeks to maintain these programs by reducing waste and inefficiency and implementing cost-cutting measures. Moreover, smart investments in renewable energy and providing tax cuts for working Americans will help stimulate the economy as it starts to rebound.
Obama’s budget would cut approximately $1 trillion in discretionary spending. Most federal agencies would see their budget allotments fall from the previous year. The Transportation and Labor Departments would see their funding slashed by nearly 40% and the Education Department would see its funding decrease by nearly 52%. The Energy Department would be one of the few departments to see their budget increase, gaining 41% in discretionary spending.
Despite the clear objectives and the austerity measures in the President’s proposal, Republican lawmakers and big business lobbyists have (not surprisingly) derided the plan. That’s because Obama’s budget would raise the top income tax rate from 35% to 39.6% -- what it was during the 90’s when the economy was doing exceptionally well. Obstruction and criticism are sure to follow in the coming months. Hopefully, political allegiances and agendas can be set aside to do what is right and necessary for our country. Don’t hold your breath, though…
You can view the President Obama’s entire 2012 budget proposal here.