Politics Magazine

President's Proposed Budget For 2016

Posted on the 11 February 2015 by Jobsanger
President's Proposed Budget For 2016
President's Proposed Budget For 2016
President Obama has submitted his proposed budget for 2016 (which would actually start in September of this year). These two charts, from the National Priorities Project, reflect the spending proposed by the president. I show you both charts, because it is highly likely that the two parties in Congress will be talking about different charts.
The top chart shows all government spending -- both discretionary (which Congress must budget each year) and mandatory (which is already written into law). This is the chart the Republicans want to talk about, because it makes it look like the mandatory spending is what is eating up most of our tax dollars -- and they want to use that to cut Social Security, Medicare, and other healthcare (which together make up about 87% of mandatory spending).
But that is very misleading. Social Security (49% of mandatory spending) has not added a penny to the budget deficit or the national debt -- ever. It is fully funded by the FICA payroll taxes, which can continue providing full benefits for another 20 years (and then will provide 80% of full benefits for many more years -- and with an increase in the cap on income subject to the payroll tax (making the rich pay the same percentage as the working and middle classes), it will be fully funded far into the future.
And the same is largely true of Medicare (most of which comes from payroll taxes and Social Security deductions). The GOP wants people to think Social Security and Medicare must be cut to balance the budget deficit, but that is an outrageous lie -- since they do not contribute to that budget deficit.
So where does the deficit come from. It comes from the second chart -- discretionary spending. This is the spending that Congress must budget every year (and is funded by income and other taxes -- everything but payroll taxes). t is too much discretionary spending that has ballooned our deficit and our national debt. Note that 54% of the discretionary budget goes to the military -- not for the benefit of our soldiers, but for the military-industrial complex (corporations) and to keep over 800 to 900 military bases around the world. Massive cuts could be made in both these areas without hurting our military readiness or our national defense.
But the Republicans don't want to cut in that area. They want to cut in the other 46% of government discretionary spending (an area that has already been cut to the bone). This is where the argument will come between the two parties. The president and the Democrats want to preserve the spending in that 46% of the budget -- because that is the spending that helps hurting Americans, and puts money into the economy (which helps all Americans). The Republicans want to cut more from that 46% (which will shrink the economy and hurt all Americans), so they can give more to the rich and the corporations.
NOTE -- You may notice a small percentage of the discretionary budget going to Social Security. That is not to pay for benefits. It is to pay back the money our congressional politicians have borrowed from  Social Security.

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