News / USA

Obama Proposes $3.8 Trillion Budget

President Barack Obama speaks about his 2013 budget and the 'Community College to Career Fund' at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Virginia, February 13, 2012.
President Barack Obama speaks about his 2013 budget and the 'Community College to Career Fund' at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Virginia, February 13, 2012.

President Barack Obama says the 2013 fiscal year budget he sent to Congress on Monday will reduce deficit spending in a balanced way by $4 trillion over the next decade and require wealthy Americans to contribute more, while preserving investments to help boost the U.S. economy.

Mr. Obama, who pledged to cut the federal budget deficit in half by the end of his first term, projects a $1.33 trillion deficit for this year.  It will be the fourth consecutive year that the budget deficit will be more than $1 trillion, although declines are projected next year and beyond.

Obama Budget Plan Factbox

  • $525.4 billion in discretionary funding for Defense Department budget - $5.1 billion below 2012 enacted level.
  • $76.4 billion for Health and Human Services Department - $300 million more than 2012 funding level.
  • $51.6 billion in discretionary funding for State Department and USAID, an increase of 1.6 percent.
  • $720 million is allocated for the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees the Voice of America - a decrease of $27 million from 2012 estimates.
  • $39.5 billion for Homeland Security Department, a decrease of 0.5 percent, or $191 million below 2012 enacted level.

Through a combination of higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy, and the presumed end of tax cuts on annual incomes exceeding $250,000 that were enacted during the George W. Bush administration, Mr. Obama proposes to raise $1.5 trillion in taxes over 10 years and reduce the federal deficit by $4 trillion.  

The plan includes an agreement reached with Congress last year to cut $1 trillion as part of deficit and debt reduction.  Savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and reductions in defense spending are also figured in.

Under the proposed budget for 2013, $476 billion would go to upgrade infrastructure, $350 billion would be spent to create jobs - a reduction from Mr. Obama's $447 billion jobs bill that was blocked by Republicans lawmakers.  Billions of dollars would be spent to hire teachers and police, repair schools, and promote research and development.

In remarks at a community college in suburban Washington, the president said the budget contains "tough choices," but reflects his determination to boost the economy through investments in education, manufacturing and clean energy.

"We can't cut back on those things that are important for us to grow.  We can't just cut our way into growth.  We can cut back on the things that we don't need but we also have to make sure that everyone is paying their fair share for the things that we do need," Mr. Obama said.

The 2013 budget projects about $360 billion in savings through adjustments in the large government health care programs - Medicare and Medicaid.  About $278 billion would come from other cost-saving measures, including requiring more pension and other contributions from federal employees.

Republicans in Congress already have declared the proposal "dead on arrival."

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Republican John Boehner, called it a reflection of "failed policies of the past" and a "collection of rehashes, gimmicks and tax increases" he said would weaken the U.S. economy.  Boehner said Republicans will offer their own budget proposal in coming months.

Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council, which advises the president on economic policy, called Mr. Obama's plan balanced.  He said it ensures strong momentum for economic recovery by laying out a framework for medium- and long-term fiscal discipline.  

He challenged Republican lawmakers to come up with a plan that balances spending cuts with new revenue.

"Whether or not you agree with every measure in this budget, there is no question it achieves this type of balance between revenue and spending cuts.  The only question is whether the House Republican budget that will come forward soon will, for the first time, include any semblance of that balance in their budget," Sperling said.

In his remarks, President Obama previewed the battle ahead with congressional Republicans over extending a payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans along with assistance for the unemployed.  He urged lawmakers to support these steps "without ideological side issues."

The co-chairpersons of one of two key deficit reduction committees called Mr. Obama's budget a "serious step forward."   

But former White House Budget Director Alice Rivlin and former Senator Pete Domenici say more needs to be done, including generating more government revenue, overhauling the tax system and dealing with the spiraling costs of major government "entitlement" programs.

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Spacei
X
September 17, 2014 4:20 AM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid