Monday, February 13, 2012

Obama's budget proposal: We can't "cut our way to growth"

Everybody loves a good ol' election year budget proposal.  Economic recovery and job creation now, and the budget deficit later.  The main points of Obama's budget proposal include:

1. Job creation!  That was the central focus of President Obama's election year budget proposal this morning.  Obama proposes pouring $8 million into community colleges and shifting the nation's focus to job training, infrastructure, and research and development.  This is a much needed initiative if we are to get anything done in this country.  Our education system is broken and other countries are beginning to take the lead.  It's about time we put value on educating our citizens and getting them back to work!

2. Asking the wealthy to pay their fair share.  The 2013 budget will have $1.5 trillion in increased taxes, and we can all finally say goodbye to the Bush-era tax cuts for the 1%!  Estate taxes will be raised, and there will be higher rates on investment income.

3. Bring troops back and cut military spending.  The extra money saved here will then be able to go to improving the nation's transportation network.

Although Obama is not exactly planning to cut the deficit in half as soon as possible like Republicans want, this plan will most likely give the country the jumpstart that it needs to get the economy back on track again.  If we don't invest in education and infrastructure now, we will end up paying for it in the long run.  There are so many jobs out there that most Americans just are not trained to do because of lack of education.  There is NO reason why we should have empty jobs and nobody to fill them.  This is a recipe for disaster, especially as more and more jobs are getting shipped overseas.

One of the important issues missing from Obama's budget proposal:  The President did not call for any structural changes to Medicare, which accounts for a large percentage of the nation's debt.  We will have to wait and see what will happen with that one.

Good news for Obama: The President's poll numbers are up again!  Troops are completely withdrawn from Iraq, the payroll tax cut victory happened, and January and February (so far) are bringing in good economic numbers.  As the economy improves and we shift our focus to jobs and improving education, so do the President's poll numbers!

What do you think about the President's proposal?

For a quick overview of who the "winners" and "losers" of Obama's budget plan are, watch this video with Jennifer Granholm, Michigan's governor.

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