Obama to Release $4 Trillion Budget
President Barack Obama is unveiling his eighth and final budget, a $4 trillion-plus proposal that’s freighted with liberal policy initiatives and new and familiar tax hikes – all sent to a dismissive Republican-controlled Congress that simply wants to move on from his presidency.
The budget will be released Tuesday morning and comes as the deficit, which had been falling over the duration of President Obama’s two terms, has begun to creep up.
It now rest above the half-trillion mark.
The White House is countering the worsening deficit outlook with a proposed $10-per barrel tax on oil that would finance “clean” transportation projects. It also is sure to propose taxes on the wealthy and corporations..
Obama’s budget playbook is sure to appeal to Democrats: A “moonshot” initiative to cure cancer; increasing Pell Grants for college students from low-income backgrounds; renewed incentives for GOP-governed states to join the expanded Medicaid system established under the health care law, and incentives to boost individual retirement accounts.
The budget also pledges to make Americans safe in an increasingly dangerous world through higher military spending to fight the Islamic State terrorist threat and increased support for cybersecurity in the wake of last summer’s hack of government computers that compromised the personal information of 21 million Americans. The administration’s budget asks for a $19 billion increase in spending to upgrade cybersecurity across government agencies, including $3 billion for an overhaul of federal computer systems.
Obama’s proposed tax increases also mean that he can present relatively reasonable deficit estimates without having to go for painful cuts to benefit programs such as Medicare, health care subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, food stamps, and Medicaid health care for the poor.
The budget deficit, after hitting a whopping $1.4 trillion in Obama’s first year, dropped to a relatively manageable $439 billion last year.