2016 Budget Raises Questions

President Obama has just recently released his proposed budget plan for his final year in office, 2016. The proposal calls for a record $3.99 trillion in spending and hopes to strengthen the economy. In the initial briefing, President Obama stated that the country’s economy has been steadily recovering and that now is not the time to practice austerity measures. The budget will, if approved, utilize $3.53 trillion in estimated revenue for the allotments that the President has envisioned, and will run a $474 billion dollar deficit. However, President Obama has said that the budget will primarily be focused on education, infrastructure, and the middle class.

Now, since the current proposal requires nearly $3.5 trillion dollars, many in Congress are wondering where the money will come from. The President has proposed that American companies should pay 14% of their foreign earnings as taxes. Obama also hopes to raise the top rate on the capital gains tax to 28%, thereby increasing the amount of revenue that the federal government would receive. All of this money is supposed to come from the wealthiest Americans, who will face higher tax rates if the budget is passed. Nonetheless, the money is intended to repair critical infrastructure problems in the country while also helping the middle class. It was outlined that a large portion of middle-class Americans would receive possible tax credits of up to $500 in order to boost incomes and augment the purchasing power of the citizens. From what can currently be told, it seems clear that the proposed budget aims to resolve many problems that middle-class Americans face today.

In spite of this, many prominent Congressmen in the Republican Party were quick to issue their disapproval of the bill. A great deal of House and Senate Republicans think that the bill does not address the problems that they see as important, namely a strong national defense, a tough immigration policy, and a balanced budget. To them, this budget is merely an example of reckless government spending that doesn’t have the interests of the American people at heart. They hope to include many changes in the proposal, especially to the immigration policy. It is very unlikely that the President will be welcome to change on immigration though, particularly as he has just advocated a temporary deportation relief program for recently arrived illegal immigrants. Nevertheless, the GOP still has the ability to exercise their legislative power in Congress and revise the budget proposal to fulfill their agenda.

In my opinion, I think that this budget proposal introduced by President Obama is the Democrats” last chance to win the opinion of the voters. The entire country is aware that Obama only has 2 years left in office and that the Democrats are still searching today to find a suitable replacement. Perhaps this show of support for the middle-class and desire to implement much-needed reforms can prompt a change in attitude. It is very probable that this budget proposal, if approved by Congress, could be the savior of the Democratic Party and the country.


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