The President’s leadership is one the country’s foremost concerns. This sample essay discusses one of the President’s most notable of responsibilities, the management of the fiscal budget.
What is the Federal Budget?
The budget devised by the President is critical to America’s investment in domestic and national security among many other important considerations. The latest budget proposal set forth by Barack Obama is directed toward helping innovation to beat climate change, the creation of new treatments towards devastating disease, providing all with an equal chance for economic security as well as an opportunity for meaningful employment, and finally the advancement of the nation’s security and global leadership (The President’s Budget for Fiscal year, 2017).
Obama’s final proposal
Obama has provided the nation with many positive benefits with sound fiscal leadership. With the President’s direction, the American economy has made a substantial turnaround from the Great Recession of the late 2000s. This is evidenced by the creation of 14 million new jobs and an unemployment rate that is below 5%, a first in nearly eight long years (The President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2017). This has been quite an accomplishment as the job creation initiatives set forth by the Obama administration have made American businesses and employees some of the most profitable during the global economic crunch. 903,000 of the jobs created were in manufacturing which had been in diminished supply since the 1990s
The President also had the success in reducing the Federal Deficits by nearly three-quarters, which is one of the most sustained deficit reduction rates since post World War II. This is evidenced by 2015’s deficit drop to just 2.5 the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which is the lowest since 2007 (The President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2017). Furthermore, 18 million Americans are reported to have gained health insurance with Obama’s Affordable Care Act (The President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2017).
The new budget
Building on the successes and learning milestones of the previous budgetary period, the new Presidential Budget builds in bipartisanship while simultaneously setting down investments that will help sustain economic growth into the future by giving America an edge in innovation and science (The President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2017). Tax reforms are also a part of the budget plan with special emphasis on modernizing the international tax plans so as to assist businesses in dealing aborad in a way that is easier and fairer to all parties involved. It is expected that in so doing, the budget reforms may help to build jobs that are affected by international trade.
The budget is unique in that is also set to close down taxing issues that have sequestrated the funding the federal government should properly receive. This is to be done via the termination of tax loopholes that have allowed businesses to avoid paying their fair share as well as reforming tax expenditures via smart spending reforms (The President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2017).
Thanks to the 2016 Omnibus, congress has established a bipartisan agreement that is designed to help working families to incentivize the private-sector innovation with support for R&D which should simply and cut taxes in smaller business even while making many corporate tax breaks obsolete in a short while (Budget of the U.S. Government 11). Thanks to legislation signed by President Obama, Recovery Act expansions of the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit are set to permanently improve tax cuts by at least $900 on average. Had he not verified the Recovery Act, it would have scheduled in 2017 and soon cost millions of the poorest American families millions of dollars (Budget of the U.S. Government 12).
The development of job training is also an aspect of the budget with $90 million being invested into creating more employment opportunities. Research initiatives also comprise a critical aspect of the budget proposal with a seven percent rise in National Institute of Health Funding designed to help research priorities such as Alzheimer’s and fixing the increases in antibiotic resistance, cancer, and improving the Precision Medicine Initiative (Budget of the U.S. Government 11). One of the medicine initiatives also includes a $1 billion investment to create a “National ‘Moonshot’ Initiative” intended to cure cancer as it is now known and provide funding necessary for researcher to quicken the progress of new cancer treatments (Garuanay).
Improving education is a critical aspect of the program as well. Pell Grant reforms comprise a significant portion of the budge with the expectation that every American may get the postsecondary education training that they require in order to find and land a well-paying job. The Administration is furthermore suggesting that more than $2 billion dollars be invested into pre-existing federal Pell Grant budget which should increase the affordability of college attendance or many (Gaurnay). Furthermore, there is the early learning target of building the Head Start learning program with a six percent increase in funding which is shown to increase education outcomes with the children in attendance (Budget of the U.S. Government 11).
Clean energy is also a critical aspect of the funding with an eight percent rise in funding as the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy work in cooperation with university, industry, and national labs to achieve sustainability goals that are imperative to long-term success in the 21st century (Budget of the U.S. Government 11). There is also the investment into advanced manufacturing resources.
The President has laid out the goal of creating 15 new manufacturing institutes by the end of his term with an additional investment increase of $225 million dollars (Budget of the U.S. Government 11). Together, each of the institutes may help to bring leading companies together with universities and other non-profits to co-invest in the creation of game-changing manufacturing technologies that could radically enhance the U.S.’s competitive edge in the technology and manufacturing sectors of global commerce.
One such technological development is that of the Cybersecurity National Plan. Within the Cybersecurity National Plan, there is planned investment of more than 19 billion dollars to help improve the nation’s cybersecurity task force (Mason & Lawder). The President’s budget is also set to help the Administration make a Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP) which will protect the private sector and increase the digital security of American citizens. Both of these targets should give Americans the resources they must have to protect their online identities, finances, and other private information (Guranay). Given that technological sophistication and use is ever increasing, this may be one of the plans’ most helpful of initiatives.
All in all, the budget is proposed to reach nearly $4.15 trillion dollars in spending (Mufson). The committee arrived at this figure only after a long series of fiscal battles waged with the Republicans in Congress in regards to the nation’s spending goals. The proposed budget is to increase the spending of the nation by 4.9 percent as a result of mandatory program’s increased funding. Notably, social security is given more funding and there is the need to increase the interest rate payments on national debt levels (Mufson). In discretionary spending programs, the budget only gives the slight elevation of less than 1 percent.
Nevertheless, the proposal would help shrink federal deficits to $503 billion by 2017 which is lower than the figure given for the past fiscal year (Mufson). It is expected that the deficit would remain below 3% of the annual gross domestic product until 2026 at which time the accumulated debt owed by the American populous may reach from the present figure of $14 trillion to $21.3 trillion. Although somewhat unfavorable, the American economy is expected to grow in tandem with the debt with debt reaching about 75% of the gross domestic product which should stabilize it (Calmes).
Despite positive projections, some houses hold that the proposal is ineffectual and insufficient. The Republicans in Congress have indicated that the plan was D.O.A., that is dead on arrival. The House Speaker Paul D. Ryan states that
“this isn’t even a budget so much as it is a progressive manual for growing the federal government at the expense of hardworking Americans” (Mufson).
Furthermore, Mr. Enzi, along with the House Budget Committee Chairman Representative Tom Price of Georgia states that they will not be inviting Mr. Obama’s Shaun Donovan, the budget director, testify at their panels thus demonstrating certain animosity. Furthermore, Paul D. Ryan ridiculed the budget with the finding that the proposed oil tax alone may add 24 cents a gallon to already steep gasoline prices (Calmes).
President Obama sure has a solid conviction in the efficacy of the budget. He states
“the budget is a roadmap to a future that embodies American values and aspirations: a future of opportunity and security for all our families; a rising standard of living; and a sustainable, peaceful planet for our kids. This future is within our reach” (Garunay).
A part of this future is the development of a Century Clean Transportation System which will increase American investments into clean transportation by about 50% thus reforming the expected costs of carbon pollution and oil consumption (Garunay).
Mission innovation may also play a dramatic role in improving global energy systems. The President, in cooperation with 20 countries has committed to doubling their government’s respective research and developments into sustainable research systems over the next 5 years. Obama has taken this directive a step further with announcement that he would increase the Federal Investment into clean energy R & D from the present total of $6.4 billion in 2016 to $12.8 billion in 2021 (Garunay).
Those interested in becoming more acquainted with the details associated with the budget have several options for exploring how the budget laid out and what they can expect from the fiscal strategy laid forth. One option is to go to GitHub and/or Socrata which is an open-source data tool that will allow for users to excavate the numbers within the proposal and if they so choose create data tables or graphs to represent the data (Garuanay). There is also the option to read the budget in full at budget.gov.
With the chaotic and depressive economic and environmental cycles seen over the past decade or so, the country is in need of a solid fiscal plan that may help the public, private, and federal sectors of American government to collect and use its money wisely. Obama’s proposal does just this through an ambitious clean energy program, education reforms which make college more affordable, healthcare initiatives like the curing of cancer, and the creation of a national cyber security program. Although some controversy does exist in regards to his plan, it is likely to be passed and appreciated by the people in much the same manner that his previous term of office was appreciated thanks to its successful navigation through many an economic crisis.
Budget of the U.S. Government. White House, 2016. Web. Feb. 27, 2016.
Calmes, Jackie. Obama’s Last Budget, and Last Budget Battle With Congress. NY Times, 2016. Web. Feb., 27, 2016.
Garunay, Melani. President Obama’s Final Budget: Innovating for a Better Future. Whitehouse.gov. Web Feb. 27, 2016.
Mason, Jeff & Lawder, David. Obama Sends Final Budget Proposal to Congress. Huffington Post, 2016. Web. Feb. 27, 2016.
Mufson, S., Obama’s final budget proposal calls for $4.15 trillion in spending. The Washington Post, 2016. Web. Feb. 27, 2016.
The President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2017. White House. Web. Feb. 27, 2016.