President’s Final Budget Request Sent to Congress
Characterized as “dead on arrival,” President Obama released the last budget of his Administration last Tuesday. Filled with policy proposals, the budget blueprint was met with accolades from supporters and dismissals from opponents, much like previous presidential budget releases. The budget proposes $2.9 trillion in deficit reduction over the decade from FY 2017 to 2026, and the Congressional Budget Office recently predicted a sharp rise in deficits due to spending without raising revenues. Administration officials have spent the days since the release of the budget talking to lawmakers and appearing before congressional panels promoting the specific proposals.
Discretionary spending still constitutes a third of the overall federal budget. Mandatory spending such as Social Security, Medicare, and other entitlement programs are the largest (and growing) portion of the budget, crowding out spending for other programs such as transportation and environmental infrastructure, education, housing and community development, energy initiatives, and emergency planning.