President Barack Obama unveiled his $4.1 trillion final budget proposal Tuesday, which called for a near-5 percent increase in spending and $2.6 trillion in tax increases over the course of 10 years.
Just $1.21 trillion of his plan would be allocated toward discretionary spending – with defense receiving $601 billion and $614 billion going toward non-defense programs. An additional $59 billion was requested by the administration for Overseas Contingency Operations fund, remaining consistent with the 2016 fiscal year levels.
A large portion of discretionary spending would go to growing entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Despite the president’s call for steep tax increases – which include implementing the Buffett Rule requiring top earners to pay at least 30 percent in income tax; hiking the top capital gains rate to 28 percent and imposing a $10 per barrel tax on crude oil – the administration estimates the deficit would still increase by $9.75 trillion over the course of the next decade.
Large financial institutions would also be hit with a new fee designed to generate revenue.
An array of new programs would receive cash under the president’s plan. Cancer research would receive $755 million, a cyber security initiative would get $19 billion and $1.29 billion would go “to advance the goals of the Global Climate Change Initiative.”
The commander in chief suggested permanently lifting mandatory spending caps in 2018 put in place with the Budget Control Act.
The proposal has already seen strong pushback from Republicans.
“President Obama will leave office having never proposed a budget that balances—ever. This isn’t even a budget so much as it is a progressive manual for growing the federal government at the expense of hardworking Americans,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement. “The president’s oil tax alone would raise the average cost of gasoline by 24 cents per gallon, while hurting jobs and a major sector of our economy. Americans deserve better.”
In an unprecedented move, Committee on the Budget chairmen from both chambers, Rep. Tom Price of Georgia and Sen. Michael Enzi of Wyoming, snubbed the White House, refusing to hold a hearing on the topic.
“The president’s final budget continues his focus on new spending proposals instead of confronting our country’s massive overspending and skyrocketing $19 trillion in debt,” Enzi said in a statement. “This budget joins his others by placing America on a fiscal path that is unsustainable and threatens our long-term economic growth. It is not the budget effort that hardworking taxpayers deserve, and our times and country require.”
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