The Obama Budget
Obama has released his FY 2010 Budget , and there's a lot to digest in there. NPR has a helpful overview by department. My personal, overall impression is that there is some great stuff in there, but it is too big.
I'm a bit disappointed that there are not more places where wasteful spending has been cut. I didn't want to see McCain's hatchet, but I was expecting a bit more from Obama's scalpel. Looks like he used a laser scalpel that was low on batteries. This is not exactly a final budget, though, so we'll see what happens.
War costs will now be included in the deficit calculations. No more of the shifty accounting of the Bush Administration. That's a good thing, I'd say. But overall, a 4% increase in Defense spending? Bah. It's a relatively small increase, I suppose, but this is where I was hoping to see some cuts.
More unemployment benefits, more funding for OSHA - no complaints from me. Laying the groundwork for "automatic enrollment in workplace pension plans." Not exactly sure how that will work. I'm reserving judgment on that for now.
Big changes to the student loan system. Could be a good idea. There are also supposed to be cuts to education programs that don't work, but we won't know what those will be 'til April.
Pretty pleased with the Energy/Environment section. Much more funding for the EPA, reinstating the SuperFund cleanup tax. Clean energy investing. And the big one: a cap & trade system to curb greenhouse gas emissions. I still think I'd prefer a carbon tax, buy I'll take cap & trade.
Health Care Reform is in the budget, but of course without any real details. That's for Congress to hash out.
And of course, tax increases (but not until 2011) for those making more than $250,000. I don't have a problem with that, either.
There's a lot more. Read the whole thing if you dare. Or just spout your uninformed opinions, like I just did!