Obama Unveils $3.8 Trillion Budget Proposal
President Barack Obama unveiled his $3.8 trillion budget proposal for the 2011 fiscal year on Monday morning.
Obama's plan would shrink the deficit and continue the effort to close the budget gap. The administration began making efforts to accomplish the latter last week when they planned to cut discretionary spending by 17%.
The proposed budget would raise taxes, though it doesn't appear it would affect lower- to middle-class families. The plan is to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the rich, generating an estimated $1 trillion in tax revenue.
Though the wealthy may raise their hackles about the tax increases—the stock market will certainly suffer a bit as a result—ultimately bringing in this sort of revenue without further damaging the middle class seems like a pretty good plan.
Nobody like taxes, Democrats included, but sometimes getting out of a crisis means handing over the reins for a little while. Give up a slightly higher percentage of your already astronomical income, and maybe in a few years the government will have restored the value of your business and other financial holdings. It seems like a pretty fair trade to me.
Critics will point out that Obama's budget will grow the federal debt, though at this point, those numbers seem almost meaningless. Is it even possible, short of a miracle, to ever pay back anything close to the entirety of the debt?
Small government advocates point out the technical fact that we each hold a fairly sizable chunk of this debt over our heads, but in practical terms, it has nearly no effect on our day-to-day, nor does it seem to force the government to curb spending.
Of course, Obama's budget still has to go through Congress, and Republicans are likely to block any sort of deficit-reduction measures that actually involve generating revenue. Tax hikes won't likely affect the Republican constituency, sure, but since when have politicians been concerned with doing the right thing for the people who elected them?