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

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web 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.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs