Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Obama budget raises spending, taxes

Saying he’s optimistic the economy and the government’s fiscal picture have finally turned the corner five years into his tenure, President Obama announced a $3.9 trillion 2015 budget Tuesday that calls for tax hikes and a $60 billion boost in spending next year.

The federal government would run a $564 billion deficit in 2015, which would be a record low for Mr. Obama’s tenure. But the deficit would remain at about half a trillion dollars a year for the next 10 years, meaning debt would continue to pile up. By 2024, Mr. Obama projects gross debt would be $27.5 trillion.

He also rejected spending cuts he and Congress have agreed to in recent years, saying the government is wounding basic domestic programs. He instead said higher domestic spending can be accommodated by raising taxes on the wealthy.

“At a time when our deficits are falling at the fastest rate in 60 years, we’ve got to decide if we’re going to keep squeezing the middle class,” Mr. Obama said.

A $302 billion transportation-building program would be paid for by eliminating tax breaks for businesses — a move that is unlikely to sit well with Republicans, who have said any corporate tax code changes will have to be revenue neutral.

Mr. Obama also proposed a federal tobacco tax hike to pay for federal funding to guarantee preschool and full-day kindergarten for children from low- and middle-income families.

The budget is a month later than the deadline set in law.

And it arrives in a Congress unlikely to care very much about the details. Senate Democrats have already said they won’t try to pass a budget this year, while House Republicans will try — but will reject most of the president’s proposals.

Full article: http://www.washingto … ises-spending-taxes/

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