"Ten Facts About The Obama Budget"
President Obama unveiled his budget for fiscal year 2013 this morning in Virginia, touting it as a budget that took a balanced approach toward investing in American economic growth now while reducing the nation’s deficit over the long-term. The budget is a step in the right direction, using both tax increases and spending cuts to cut the deficit and investing in infrastructure and other job creation measures to continue the economic recovery.
Like any budget, Obama’s is complicated, containing investments and cuts to various programs. With that in mind, ThinkProgress compiled 10 facts about the Obama budget based on the White House fact sheet and other reports:
1. The budget includes $350 billion in short-term measures to encourage job growth, including $50 billion in immediate infrastructure investment, $30 billion to rebuild schools, and year-long extensions of the payroll tax holiday and unemployment insurance.
2. The implementation of the Buffett Rule and the repeal of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy helps reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.
3. For every $1 in new revenue from those making more than $250,000 per year and from closing corporate loopholes, the budget has $2.50 in spending cuts including the deficit reduction enacted over the last year.
4. The total budget reduces the deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade.
5. Obama preserves the maximum Pell Grant award, a key difference from the GOP budget, and makes permanent then Americans Opportunity Tax Credit, which helps 9 million families afford the costs of college.
6. Unlike the last two GOP budgets, Obama’s budget protects Medicare and Medicaid from structural changes, and through small tweaks, saves $360 billion from those programs.
7. States will receive $30 billion in aid to prevent further layoffs of firefighters, teachers, and police officers, some of the hardest-hit workforces in the nation.
8. The budget eliminates 12 tax breaks to oil, gas, and coal companies, saving $41 billion over 10 years.
9. Obama preserves planned cuts to the Defense Department negotiated in the debt limit deal last August.
10. The budget maintains goals of putting one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015; doubling share of electricity from clean energy sources by 2035; and reducing buildings’ energy use by 20 percent by 2020.
As the Center for American Progress’ Michael Linden notes, Obama’s budget is far from perfect. It’s spending caps are too low, it’s defense cuts are too small, and it contains less new revenue than bipartisan plans like Simpson-Bowles and Rivlin-Domenici. But it prioritizes job creation and economic development and keeps America on the path to recovery, something Republican plans, unfortunately, fail to do.