President Obama finally released his budget yesterday—more than two months late.
Heritage experts immediately went to work analyzing the mounds of new spending on education, manufacturing, “clean energy,” infrastructure, and small business.
But the President didn’t stop at more of the same failed stimulus and Solyndra-type policies. He also piled on the tax increases—including on seniors, the poor, and the middle class.
Five key things to know about President Obama’s budget:
1. It hikes taxes by $1.1 trillion.
Heritage’s Curtis Dubay says: “There was little doubt that President Obama would propose a huge tax hike in his budget. It is a bit surprising, however, that the total tax increase he proposes is almost double what he claims it to be.”
Dubay explains where all the tax increases come from—including the “Buffett Rule,” capping tax deductions, and hiking the cigarette tax and the death tax.
2. It underfunds defense.
Heritage’s Patrick Louis Knudsen explains that “While boosting domestic spending, the President remains indifferent to national security needs. His proposed defense spending, though somewhat higher than sequestration levels, remains inadequate.” Baker Spring says, “The result is going to be a defense posture that is too small in terms of both personnel and force structure, does not include modern weapons and equipment, and does not provide adequate levels of training and maintenance.”
3. It doubles down on Obamacare.
The Obama budget actually expands parts of Obamacare and even includes new changes to Medicare that create two sneaky new “taxes” on seniors. Obamacare’s “malignant new entitlements—its health insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansions—start in this 2014 budget,” Knudsen reminds us.
With their implementation, the misnamed Affordable Care Act will add a distinctly unaffordable $1.8 trillion in federal spending through 2023. Equally important, Obamacare commandeers the health care sector with a massive program that further distorts the market, intrudes on the doctor-patient relationship, and dismisses personal and religious liberty.
4. It doesn’t balance and never will.
As Knudsen says, “Because the budget never balances—it doesn’t even try—debt remains at dangerously elevated levels.” See how Obama’s non-balancing budget compares to the plans in the House and Senate, as well as Heritage’s Saving the American Dream plan.
5. It’s irrelevant.
The President’s budget is more than two months late. The House and Senate have already passed their own budgets, and the next step is for the two chambers to come together to see if they can hash out a budget that both chambers can pass. At this point, why is the President bothering?
Amy Payne is Assistant Director of Strategic Communications at The Heritage Foundation. In that capacity, Amy serves as Managing Editor of The Foundry, Heritage’s public policy news blog, as well as the “Morning Bell,” one of Washington’s most widely read and influential e-newsletters.