President Barack Obama on Monday released his 2013 budget to Congress, which includes boosting taxes for higher income earners as well as allocating more funds to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In comments during the unveiling of his budget proposal at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va., Obama said that because the nation’s economy “is growing stronger and the recovery is speeding up” the nation “can’t go back to the policies that got us into this mess.” Within the last seven months, he said, the nation has added 3.7 million new jobs.
The Treasury Department released the same day its Greenbook detailing how the president’s FY2013 budget proposes tax policy to boost growth, create jobs and improve opportunity for the middle class. In releasing the details, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the budget proposals “strike the balance between supporting growth and laying out a responsible, long-term deficit reduction plan that simplifies the tax code and asks the most fortunate to pay their fair share.”
For starters, Obama said, Congress must stop taxes from going up for 160 million middle class Americans by extending the payroll tax cuts by the end of this month. “Congress needs to pass an extension of the payroll tax cuts without delay and without linking [passage of such cuts] to ideological side issues,” he said.
Obama said his budget plan is a blueprint for keeping the economy growing and proposes to partially do this by reducing the deficit by $4 trillion by 2022 by making “tough choices.” Obama added during his Monday remarks that the nation “can’t just cut our way to growth” rather “we have to make sure that everyone is paying their fair share.”
Obama’s plan would renew the Bush tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000 per year, but allow them to expire for those earning more. As Obama said in his State of the Union speech in early February, “Right now, we’re poised to spend nearly $1 trillion more on what was supposed to be a temporary tax break for the wealthiest 2% of Americans. Right now, because of loopholes and shelters in the tax code, a quarter of all millionaires pay lower tax rates than millions of middle-class households.”
The budget also calls for $1.5 trillion in tax increases over 10 years, which published reports have said Obama will campaign on as a way to pay for measures that would strengthen the economy in the short term while reducing the federal budget deficit in the long term.
As for the estate tax, Obama’s budget says that the administration “remains opposed to the extension of these high-income tax cuts past 2012 and supports the return of the estate tax exemption and rates to 2009 levels.” This, Obama said, would reduce the deficit by $968 billion over 10 years.