Wednesday, April 10, 2013

President Announces His Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Proposal

Apr 10: The President announced his Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal which he said would make critical investments in infrastructure, strengthen the middle class, create jobs, and grow the economy while continuing to cut the deficit in a balanced way. Among other items he said the budget proposes to continue efforts towards energy independence and address the threat of climate change. The budget calls for more than $2 in spending cuts for every $1 of new revenue from closing tax loopholes and reducing tax benefits for the wealthiest. The President said in part:

"The point is, our economy is poised for progress -- as long as Washington doesn't get in the way.  Frankly, the American people deserve better than what we've been seeing:  a shortsighted, crisis-driven decision-making, like the reckless, across-the-board spending cuts that are already hurting a lot of communities out there -- cuts that economists predict will cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs during the course of this year. If we want to keep rebuilding our economy on a stronger, more stable foundation, then we've got to get smarter about our priorities as a nation.  And that's what the budget I'm sending to Congress today represents -- a fiscally responsible blueprint for middle-class jobs and growth. . .

". . .this budget invests in new manufacturing hubs to help turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech jobs.  We'll spark new American innovation and industry with cutting-edge research like the initiative I announced to map the human brain and cure disease.  We'll continue our march towards energy independence and address the threat of climate change.  And our Rebuild America Partnership will attract private investment to put construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads, our bridges and our schools, in turn attracting even more new business to communities across the country. . .

"For years, the debate in this town has raged between reducing our deficits at all costs, and making the investments necessary to grow our economy.  And this budget answers that argument, because we can do both.  We can grow our economy and shrink our deficits.  In fact, as we saw in the 1990s, nothing shrinks deficits faster than a growing economy.  That's been my goal since I took office.  And that should be our goal going forward. . .

"My budget also replaces the foolish across-the-board spending cuts that are already hurting our economy. . . My budget makes these investments to grow our economy and create jobs, and it does so without adding a dime to our deficits. Now, on the topic of deficits, despite all the noise in Washington, here's a clear and unassailable fact: our deficits are already falling.  Over the past two years, I've signed legislation that will reduce our deficits by more than $2.5 trillion -- more than two-thirds of it through spending cuts and the rest through asking the wealthiest Americans to begin paying their fair share. 

"That doesn't mean we don't have more work to do.  But here's how we finish the job.  My budget will reduce our deficits by nearly another $2 trillion, so that all told we will have surpassed the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that independent economists believe we need to stabilize our finances.  But it does so in a balanced and responsible way, a way that most Americans prefer.

    A summary from the Department of Management and Budget indicates that the budget invests in repairing existing infrastructure and building the infrastructure of tomorrow, including high-speed rail, high-tech schools, and power grids that are resilient to future extreme conditions. The investments will both lay the foundation for long-term economic growth and put workers back on the job now. 

  • Provides $50 billion for upfront infrastructure investments, including $40 billion for "Fix it First" projects, to invest immediately in repairing highways, bridges, transit systems, and airports nationwide; and $10 billion for competitive programs to encourage innovation in completing high-value infrastructure projects.
  • Boosts private investment in infrastructure by creating a Rebuild America Partnership including" Establishes an independent National Infrastructure Bank to leverage private and public capital to support infrastructure projects of national and regional significance; and Creates America Fast Forward (AFF) Bonds, building on the successful Build America Bonds program to attract new sources of capital for infrastructure investment.
  • Dedicates funding for the development of high-speed rail to link communities across the country, the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NexGen) to improve air travel and safety, and a robust long term increase in levels for core highways, transit, and highway safety programs. 
  • Expedites infrastructure projects by modernizing the Federal permitting process to cut through red tape while creating incentives and better outcomes for communities and the environment.  Establishes a new goal of cutting timelines in half for major infrastructure projects in areas such as highways, bridges, railways, ports, waterways, pipelines, and renewable energy.

    A separate fact sheet on "Building a Clean Energy Economy, Improving Energy Security, and Addressing Climate Change" indicates that the Budget "supports a range of investments and initia­tives to help make the United States the leader in the clean energy sector and bring about a clean energy econo­my with new companies and jobs.  The Budget also supports work to prepare and strengthen our communities against extreme weather and other impacts of climate change, while cutting the carbon pollution that causes it. Cleaner energy will play a crucial role in meeting the President's goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the range of 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, and enhancing energy security by reducing our dependence on oil.  The President is committed to an "all-of-the-above" approach that develops all American energy sources in a safe and responsible way and builds a clean and secure energy future." The Budget increases funding for the Department of Energy's (DOE) clean energy technology activities by more than 40 percent above the 2012 enacted level, to $6.2 billion, and increasing funding for clean energy technology across all agencies by 30 percent, to approximately $7.9 billion.

    The Budget proposed to "eliminate inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that im­pede investment in clean energy sources and un­dermine efforts to address the threat of climate change. The Budget would repeal over $4 billion per year in tax subsidies to oil, gas, and other fos­sil fuel producers." It calls for $200 million for "Climate Ready Infrastructure" and provides for $2.7 billion for thirteen Federal agencies in the U.S. Global Change Research Program to support research to improve our ability to understand, predict, mitigate, adapt to climate change, and increase communication among scientific and stakeholder communities. The budget provides $8.2 billion for U.S. EPA, a decrease of $296 million, or 3.5 percent, below the 2012 enacted level.

    Access the full text of the President's budget announcement (click here). Access the DMB overview with links to complete budget details including Analytical Perspectives, Historical Tables, Supplemental Materials, Fact Sheets, Past Budgets and more (click here). Access a fact sheet on clean energy and climate change initiatives (click here). Access a fact sheet on Infrastructure (click here). Access a 20-page detail of the U.S. EPA budget proposals (click here). Access the 140-page EPA budget detail (click here). Access the 1024-page EPA FY2014 budget justification document (click here). Access the 48-page detail of the DOE budget proposals (click here). Access links to other agencies details (click here). Access links to the 244-page budget summary and details by section (click here). [#All]

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