By Pamela Gentry, Senior Political Analyst
Feb. 1, 2010 – The president released his budget priorities acknowledging, “It’s a budget that reflects the serious challenges facing the country,” a tone he maintained throughout his remarks as he pledged to get the budget away from deficit spending.
“I think it’s very important to understand: We won’t be able to bring down this deficit overnight, given that the recovery is still taking hold and families across the country still need help. We will continue, for example, to do what it takes to create jobs,” he said.
Along with a $100 billion jobs package the president said, he is proposing “to include new tax cuts for people who invest in small businesses, tax credits for small businesses that hire new workers, investments that will create jobs repairing roads and bridges, and tax breaks for retrofitting homes to save energy.”
Education is also getting a boost. The president is proposing the Education Department get a six percent increase for public education and to increase the Pell Grant for needy students seeking higher education.
And there are increases in investments in clean energy, investments in scientific research and those industries on the cutting edge of creating jobs for future.
With the country facing a $1.27 trillion deficit, the president announced the creation of a bipartisan commission to find ways to curb government spending.
“We simply cannot continue to spend as if deficits don’t have consequences, as if waste doesn’t matter, as if the hard-earned tax dollars of the American people can be treated like Monopoly money, as if we can ignore this challenge for another generation. We can’t,” Obama said.
Now that the president has unveiled his budget the ball is in Congress’s court. They hold the legislative purse strings and will now be challenged to find ways to cut some programs, raise some taxes and slowly bring down the deficit.
For more details and a line-by-line look at the 2011 budget, go to www.budget.gov.