Obama’s Budget Breakdown: More Taxes, More Spending, Less Austerity

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

President Barack Obama announced his full budget on Monday, and while much of it is tailored to support middle-class America, and some of it has bipartisan support, the plan in its entirety is a reminder as to why Republicans and Democrats are a necessary political balance.

In ways it can be good when a budget comes on a little strongly with allocating funds being paid for by pro-tax increase for businesses. It’s like exaggerating the price when bartering from the start, so even the final deal isn’t as low as it might otherwise have been. The Obama administration states at the beginning that the budget is in line with the Bipartisan Budget Act, legislation that put forth a roadmap for spending from 2013 to 2015. However, an additional “fully paid” $56 billion is suggested in order to “build on this progress to realize the nation’s full potential.”

This of course means higher taxes for groups Republicans historically have tried to protect, insisting that taxing businesses stunts the economy and slows job growth. President Obama’s plan is sure to arouse criticism, though he insisted that “we can afford to make these investments, while remaining fiscally responsible” in a speech given on the budget Monday. Yet it could be a good point to begin negotiating from, assuming it hasn’t alienated too many potential supporters from the outset.

Controversial and Bipartisan: What will cause a fight?

Let’s take a look at some of the key sections of the proposal, the support for them, and the reason they may be controversial. Security is a major term in the budget, whether it’s referring to national security, social security, or “securing our nation’s future.” Security is a buzzword that apparently constitutes appropriate terminology covering topics, everything from daycare to terrorism. However, that’s beside the point. The real question is, which types of security are Republican-friendly, and which types will create conflict in Washington?

Military security initiatives are likely to go over well, especially those concerning veteran health care and military support, something Republicans have often put as a priority. It was included in the State of the Union response given by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), and is a far less controversial topic in terms of how it’s executed. Money put toward efforts in Afghanistan, Syria, and the Middle East are likely to find support, as are intelligence oversight efforts and the improvement of “protection of U.S. diplomatic facilities and personnel overseas.”

Reducing “erosions in customer service” within the Social Security Administration and the IRS, and updating certain weapons systems and military infrastructure all fall within bipartisan interests. Climate change research may be somewhat controversial, but given the projected challenges to national well being and stability, efforts to prepare for natural disasters and other side effects of climate change are less likely to draw even the most conservative fire.

Reducing the deficit is a bipartisan concern, as is tax code reform. Immigration reform, the last item on his budget announcement, is desired by both sides of the aisle, but has thus far proven difficult, if not impossible. His “Now is the Time” gun-control idea will almost certainly be met with a volley of angry gun-rights responses from the right. Response to the item for “support[ing] implementation of the Affordable Care Act,” hardly needs mention. Similarly, a number of his tax cuts or suggested reforms will be less popular with opponents, like the Earned Income Tax Credit being referred to as Robin Hood tax changes, because they help middle class and poor individuals by taking the money from high income taxes.

Who Wins in Obama’s budget?

Some aspects of Obama’s budget will be more or less easily accepted than others, but on a more quantitative note, the budget does have industries that will reap far greater fiscal rewards than others. Vox created the table shown below, which outlines who will see the table

The three groups seeing the worst of cuts include HHS, the Corps of Engineers, and the Small Business Administration. The latter will undoubtedly see a great deal of criticism, and is a concerning trend. On the positive side, the Department of Housing and Urban Development will see a great deal of support with a 17.816% increase in discretionary funding changes, state and international funding will increase by 15.461%, and Commerce’s funding will go up by 11.364%.

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