Sunday, March 1, 2009

Budget Links and Where Do We Go From Here?

By now, everyone knows we’re in midst of the worst recession since World War II, and possibly the Great Depression.

Here’s a collection of graphs providing graphic representations of where we are right now, economically speaking.

And here’s some anecdotal evidence.

In response, President Obama has put forth a budget for fiscal year 2010, projecting into the next 10 years.

The budget bill includes the following:

• $634 billion for health reform, 2009-2019
• higher taxes on the affluent to pay for healthcare reform
• ending the gradual privatization of Medicare
• eliminating overpayments to insurance companies
• $645 billion in revenues: sale of emission allowances
• deficit reduction
• cuts to Agribusiness subsidies
• cuts to large-scale weapons systems
• increases in pay and benefits to military personnel
• elimination of student loan financial intermediaries

Here’s a detailed analysis by Robert Greenstein, executive director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

And unlike the Bush budgets, Obama’s is honest:.

At TNR, Bradford Plumer explores the White House’s assumptions in the budget regarding global warming (yes, we can call it global warming now):.

Many economists have expressed varying degrees of optimism regarding the Obama budget. Paul Krugman calls it “very, very good” while expressing concern about longer-term implications about deficits, social security and taxation, all of which he thinks we can address after the economy regains its equilibrium.

Pete Davis supports Obama’s efforts as well.

Stan Collander agrees.

Jeff Frankel, who was at first skeptical, is now enthusiastic about Obama’s budget and analyzes it in terms of its elimination of the various dishonest manipulations of past budgets (especially Bush’s) and its ability to lead to long-term deficit reduction here.

Here’s a collection of links to various reactions to the tax portions of Obama’s budget plan.

As we all know, the GOP is gearing up to present massive resistance to President Obama’s budget bill. This, of course, includes the tea parties being conducted around the country and may very well include use of the filibuster in Congress.

In response to current signs of GOP hostility to the budget bill and in anticipation of more in the coming months, the big scary libruls are gearing up to lobby for President Obama's budget legislation.

Healthcare expert Merrill Goozner discusses the healthcare portions of the Obama budget plan, discusses the politics of the coming battle, and issues a call to action to all of us.

It seems to me that if we expect to get out of this mess, and if we intend to reduce the deficit afterwards, deal with global warming, our declining public education system, our deteriorating healthcare system, and many of the other disasters bequeathed to us by Bush et al, we need to get this budget passed. I really don’t think anything else on any progressive agenda will get done without it.

If you agree, the next question is what we can do to support Obama’s efforts to get the budget through Congress. Please feel free to comment.

1 comment:

Kieran said...

We can use recovery.gov to track the money, and start a letter writing campaign to house and senate members to demand that they give their support to President Obama's budget plan. President Obama is ready to fight the special interest and so should we.