Politics

Obama Presents 2010 Budget to Congress

Thursday, February 26, 2009

President Barack Obama presents his first budget to congress; the biggest spending plan in United States history that he says will get the country on the right track.

President Obama presented his first budget to congress this morning. In its $3.5-trillion dollars of spending lies the clearest picture yet of where the president intends to take the country.

The president's budget was hand-delivered to Capitol Hill Thursday morning. It's a massive spending plan that will push the federal deficit to $1.75-trillion dollars.

"This budget is an honest accounting of where we are and where we intend to go," said Obama.

The budget eliminates tax loopholes and incentives for companies that outsource jobs overseas. It also creates a $634-billion-dollar health-care reserve fund. About half will be paid for by reforming Medicare, including eliminating some subsidies.

The other half will come from tax increases on people making over $250-thousand dollars a year.

Also included in the budget the cost for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which the president said were "left off the books" by the Bush administration.

"That kind of dishonest accounting is not how you run your family budgets at home; it's not how your government should run its budgets either," said Obama.

The road ahead for the president's budget may be rocky. "He'll have a big fight with the insurance industry over eliminating the subsidies in Medicare. He's going to have a big fight with the pharmaceutical industry over paying them less for prescription drugs in Medicaid," said Dean Baker with the Center for Economic & Policy Research.

Analysts also predict a big fight in congress over budget plans to eliminate subsidies for farmers making more than $500-thousand dollars a year.

The budget also includes another $250-billion in reserve to help the financial industry.

The president's budget will help drive the federal deficit to unprecedented levels. But President Obama said it's necessary, at least in the short term, to get the economy moving again.

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