All Articles Tagged "deficit"
The big political news today is President Obama’s latest budget proposal, a $3.77 billion plan that would be put into effect for fiscal year 2014, which starts October 1. Given the continuous battle back and forth between the Democrats and Republicans in Congress, The Wall Street Journal sums up the goal of the proposal as such: “Obama Reaches For Middle Ground With New Budget Plan.”
“The White House will seek to persuade Republicans to warm to its proposal to embrace more short-term spending, which administration officials say will boost jobs, while also locking in medium-term tax and spending changes to reduce the deficit,” the article says. “So far, the White House has found such an approach a tough sell, with Republicans opposing tax increases and saying much of the spending is wasteful.” Overall, the article says, the spending budget is up six percent to counteract the sequestration spending cuts (remember those?) that went into effect March 1.
At the start of the fiscal year, The New York Times explains, “the federal deficit would be $744 billion, according to administration officials. That would be equal to about 4.4 percent of the gross domestic product, down from a high of about 10 percent at the height of the recession. By decade’s end, the annual deficit would be 1.7 percent, officials said, though deficits would increase thereafter as aging baby boomers drive up costs for federal benefit programs.” The 10-year plan would cut spending by $1.2 billion and would raise $580 million by pulling more taxes from the wealthy, including the imposition of the Buffet Rule, which would take 30 percent from anyone making a taxable income over $1 million.
The spending and taxes included in the proposal aren’t to the Republicans’ liking, who still want to see the federal budget decrease. What has riled Democrats are the proposed cuts to future Social Security benefits.
But there will be additional spending. Infrastructure is a priority in the budget, as is expanding prekindergarten education. And in response to calls from people across the political spectrum following the massacre in Newtown, CT, $235 million has been allotted for mental health programs. The money would pay to train teachers and other professionals to better detect the warning signs of mental illness in students, to provide in-school professional mental health services, and to help schools that have a high level of violence, according to The Washington Post. The paper says that mental health advocates are pleased with the attention, but note the billions of dollars in cuts that have been made across states over the past few years.
President Obama will be having dinner with prominent Congressional Republicans this evening in the hopes of talking through a compromise. Meanwhile, Congress could vote this week on gun control measures. The two sides seem to be ready to compromise on issues like universal background checks, says CNN.
Our president called on Congress today to approve a short-term budget solution as an attempt to avoid sequestration, the fancy way of saying deep spending cuts, which are scheduled to set in on March 1.
Mr. Obama believes there should be spending cuts, but they should not come from education, energy and national security, but from tax reform that eliminates loopholes and deductions. The New York Times reports that in a televised interview with CBS on Sunday he mentioned that the upcoming budget deal likely will not include further tax increases, but I’m sure to the wealthy this quest to reduce loopholes and deductions sounds just like tax increases. It was only last month that legislation passed that avoided tax increases on the middle class. (The payroll tax “increase” you’ve noticed is actually the reinstatement of 2010 rates.)
In his interview, the President was candid about his motives stating, “Can we close some loopholes and deductions that folks who are well connected and have a lot of accountants and lawyers can take advantage of so they end up paying lower rates than a bus driver or a cop?”
In a press conference earlier today Obama asked for passage of “a smaller package of spending cuts and tax reforms that would delay the economically damaging effects of the sequester for a few more months until Congress finds a way to replace these cuts with a smarter solution,” reports Reuters. Republican leadership has already rejected much of what President Obama said, with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell pushing for more cuts and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, a Republican Congressman from Michigan, calling Obama’s plan “another tax hike.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, House Speaker John Boehner issued a statement before the press conference saying, in part, “Republicans have twice voted to replace these arbitrary cuts with common-sense cuts and reforms that protect our national defense… The president’s sequester should be replaced with spending cuts and reforms that will start us on the path to balancing the budget in 10 years.”
In other words, the back and forth between the President and Congress, and the President and Congress, hasn’t stopped. The cycle saga continues.
When the congressional super committee charged with reducing America’s deficit failed to reach an agreement on what cuts should be made in 2013, some assumed HBCUs, of which their presidents and supporters warned were being targeted, were off the hook. But an article on The Root says not so fast.
Unless a new deal is struck, Historically Black Colleges and Universities could still lose more than $20 million per year in federal support through across-the-board cuts, or they could lose as much as $85 million per year through the normal appropriations process.
“This needs to go at the top of the ‘Must do — now!’ list of everyone who cares about HBCUs,” Michael Lomax wrote in his editorial, encouraging supporters to make their local congressional leaders accountable to the members of their jurisdiction who care about this issue.
Citing the more than 47,000 college graduates produced by HBCUs each year, the 180,000 jobs HBCUs represent, and their $13 billion dollar impact to the nation’s economy, Lomax says this is not the time for the government to back out on its long-standing support of these institutions, particularly as minorities grow in this country.
But do people—specifically the people in power—still want to support HBCUs? Some still hold the view that these institutions promote segregation and question the need for them now that America has become so “racially integrated,” others cite poor graduation rates as proof that HBCUs aren’t serving its students. Unless HBCUs receive large endowments from private parties, it seems unlikely that they won’t at least have to swallow the $20 million losses, further restricting their resources and their ability to adequately prepare its graduates for the work force. And then what will that do to representation of African Americans in the work place?
Do you support HBCUs? Do you believe they are a necessary part of the education system? Do you think the government will eventually try to phase out HBCUs by weaning federal support?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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The current news cycle has been inundated with the tense struggle between the White House and Congressional Republicans and Democrats. Whether on prime time news or in major newspapers, commentaries appear to focus on which side is right and who really is at fault for the present situation in which the country finds itself relative to debt.
President Obama has tried his best to work with House Speaker John Boehner and Congressional Republicans, and Vice President Joe Biden has been leading a bipartisan committee for months to establish a proposal to reduce the current deficit while attempting to satisfy both aisles and chambers of Congress. Unfortunately, due to political posturing and an unwillingness to bypass pride for the benefit of the country, no deal has yet to be reached on arguably the most important decision of our era.
Because of the general perception that the debt ceiling issue is strictly confined to the geographical dimensions of the nation’s capital and Wall Street, there a plethora of individuals who believe that the failure to raise the debt limit for the country will not affect everyday citizens. To be sure, there will be adverse implications for the nation if Congress is unable to reach a compromise before recessing on August 5, which is fast approaching.
Below are six ways in which the failure to raise the debt ceiling would trickle down and negatively affect everyday folks. For many African-Americans, who have and continue to suffer significantly from the Great Recession in terms of unemployment, underemployment and personal finances, these ramifications could be extremely damaging.
Programs designed to help the poor such as HUD, temporary welfare, food stamps and WIC would likely lose funding.
One of the primary consequences that would assuredly take place if the Treasury is unable to pay all of its bills is that it would be forced to prioritize its payments. Bipartisan economists agree that the Treasury’s highest priorities would be to ensure that it pays interest on treasury securities, social security benefits, Medicare/Medicaid, defense vendor payments and unemployment insurance benefits.
Unfortunately, continual funding for programs such as food stamps (SNAP), Woman, Infants and Children (WIC), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Health and Human Services grants and housing assistance for the poor would likely become impossible pretty quickly. These aforementioned programs are not only important for the public-at-large but very essential for a large number of African-Americans.
Education programs such as Pell grants and special education state grants IRS refunds, veterans’ affairs and military active duty pay would likely lose funding.
Again, if the Treasury is forced to “prioritize” its payments, then continual funding for programs such as military active duty pay, veterans’ affairs, certain Department of Education programs such as Pell grants and special education state grants and IRS refunds, would likely become impossible pretty quickly. Again, these aforementioned programs are not only essential for individuals across the board but very important for a substantial number of African-Americans.
By J. Smith
This Friday, Aril 1, will mark a very special anniversary for this ever so productive class of Congressmen. The government will have come a full six months without permanent appropriations for domestic agencies or the Pentagon or the two wars we seem to have forgotten about, Politico reports.
Up to $1 trillion in nondefense spending over the next 10 years hangs in the balance while our representation (sorry D.C. residents, maybe one day you’ll be represented too) goes another round in their game of partisan politics. This continues as we inch closer to our second threat of a government shutdown in one year – a year that hasn’t even seen a full three months yet. Maybe these guys are going for a congressional record that we’re not aware of. More plausibly, though still pitiable, House Republicans are afraid of upsetting the Tea Party.
“A significant new White House proposal – appearing to double the $11 billion offer on the table – was being reviewed by Senate Democrats over the weekend in hopes that an agreement can still be reached with Boehner on a top-line number,” Politico reports. “But the harsh rhetoric Friday night suggests GOP leaders still fear a tea party rebellion.”
So basically, all we need to do is parade around the least capable spellers and most racially flagrant left-wingers in disguise of a political movement and we can have the government as shook as the Tea Party does.
Conservatives could potentially alter 16 percent, or $1 trillion, from the president’s original budget proposal, which could drastically change the landscape of government funded programs in the country. What’s worse,with the piecemeal budget the government has been operating under since October, the annualized rate of spending for the eight major domestic appropriations bills ran run near $410 billion, Politico reports. Once the final cuts are made, that would drop to $290 billion for the remainder of the year, amounting to a 30 percent reduction from what they have been spending so far.
President Obama sent Congress a $3.73 trillion dollar budget today that proposes spending cuts and tax increases to tackle the deficits. Obama called said the plan was one of “tough choices and sacrifices.” If passed, the budget would cut the deficits by $1.1 trillion dollars over ten years.
The plan would also add nearly $8 billion to the deficit in 2012 because the savings would be devoted to increased spending in education, clean energy and high-speed rail.
(FinancialExpress) — The trade deficit in the US widened in March to the highest level in more than a year as the cost of imported oil climbed and companies restocked shelves with goods bought abroad. The gap grew 2.5% to $40.4 billion, in line with the median forecast, Commerce Department figures showed on Wednesday in Washington. The value of imported crude climbed to the highest level since October 2008.
(Reuters) — In contrast, the decision by three bankers to stop underwriting New York City’s debt in its mid-1970s fiscal crisis forced politicians, business leaders and public employee unions to accept painful solutions, he said.
“Strangely enough, the financial community is willing to lend the state all kinds of money — they have 20-odd schemes they are suggesting to Albany and the legislature about how the state can borrow money,” Ravitch said at an Association for a Better New York breakfast.