The State of American Democracy

Research-based Analysis and Commentary by the Department of Politics at the John-F.-Kennedy Institute

President Obama’s Budget Proposal for 2012

President Barack Obama submitted his administration’s budget proposal for the fiscal year 2012 to Congress on Monday. Investment priorities include higher education and infrastructure, as well as a focus on strengthening Social Security. In his Message to Congress, the President also notes that he continues to oppose the permanent extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for families with an income of more than $250,000 a year, stating, “I will push for their expiration in 2012.”

But, as expected, the proposal contains some significant cut-backs. In the President’s words, “making these spending cuts will require tough choices and sacrifices.” These include a freeze on Federal civilian worker salaries, as well as reduction funding for the Department of Defense, cutting back on defense spending by $78 billion over the next 5 years. Perhaps most significantly, Obama proposes, “a 5-year freeze on all discretionary spending outside of security”, which he expects to “save more than $400 billion” over the next decade.

Still, the question for the upcoming days is whether or not the White House’s proposal can appease congressional Republicans. On Sunday – a day before the Administration sent their proposal – Speaker of the House John Boehner indirectly signaled that if federal spending cuts did not go far enough, his party might be willing to risk another government shut down. Then on Tuesday, Republicans proposed to slash the current 2011 budget by $100 billion, in what was widely understood to be a rather symbolic gesture with slim chances of passing through the Senate. Nevertheless, this prompted the White House to issue the threat of a potential veto, should such a bill really be introduced.

The next few days will prove whether or not the President’s somewhat optimistic outlook will hold true: “There are no inherent ideological differences that should prevent Democrats and Republicans from making our economy more competitive with the rest of the world.”

In the video posted below, the Director of Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Jack Lew, briefly summarizes the proposals and addresses future plans on how to handle the deficit. Go to for a full PDF version of the budget, and keep visiting our blog for upcoming commentary.

Der Beitrag wurde am Mittwoch, den 16. Februar 2011 um 17:51 Uhr von Curd Knüpfer veröffentlicht und wurde unter Congress Watch, The State of American Democracy: Innenpolitik abgelegt. Sie können die Kommentare zu diesem Eintrag durch den RSS 2.0 Feed verfolgen. Kommentare und Pings sind derzeit nicht erlaubt.

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