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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More