Vanskeligst i et budsjett er signalet det skal sende etter offentliggjørelsen. President Barack Obama kjemper en to-fronts krig; kort siktig arbeidsledighet på 9,0% og langsiktig rekordhøy gjeld. Så hvordan vi starter å kommentere på det amerikanske budsjettet anno 2011, er hva regjerningen a.k.a. det Hvite Hus vil med budsjettet. Fra introduksjonen, skrevet av presidenten (og hans manusforfattere) er:
These must be the priorities as we put together our Budget for the coming year. The fiscal realities we face require hard choices. A decade of deficits, compounded by the effects of the recession and the steps we had to take to break it, as well as the chronic failure to confront difficult decisions, has put us on an unsustainable course. That’s why my Budget lays out a path for how we can pay down these debts and free the American economy from their burden.
Presidenten presenterer 6, seks, områder som omfatter det klassiske skillet mellom politikk og økonomi. Men først vil jeg at du skal se denne paien:
Dette er det amerikanerne bruker penger på gjennom budsjettet. Husk dette..
First, I am proposing a 5-year freeze on all discretionary spending outside of security. This is not an across-the-board cut, but rather an overall freeze with investments in areas critical for long-term economic growth and job creation. A commonsense approach where we cut what doesn’t work and invest in those things that make America stronger and our people more prosperous. Over a decade, this freeze will save more than $400 billion, cut non-security funding to the lowest share of the economy since at least 1962, and put the discretionary budget on a sustainable trajectory.
Fryser ‘discretionary spending outside of security’. Nøkkelordet er ‘outside security’. Allerede fra begynnelsen er forsvarsminister Robert Gates utropt som ‘vinner’ av 2011 budsjettet. Med 23,8% av kaka, se hvor mye ‘defense cuts’ nevnes i pressedekningen.
Second, I continue to oppose the permanent extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for families making more than $250,000 a year and a more generous estate tax benefiting only the very largest estates. While I had to accept these measures for 2 more years as a part of a compromise that prevented a large tax increase on middle-class families and secured crucial job-creating support for our economy, these policies were unfair and unaffordable when enacted and remain so today. I will push for their expiration in 2012. Moreover, for too long we have tolerated a tax system that’s a complex, inefficient, and loophole-riddled mess. For instance, year after year we go deeper into deficit and debt to pay to prevent the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) from hurting many middle-class families. As a start, my Budget proposes a 3-year fix to the AMT that is paid for by an across-the- board 30 percent reduction in itemized deductions for high-income taxpayers. My Administration will work with the Congress on a long-term offset for these costs.
Når minoriteten kan blokkere, kan ikke presidenten gjennomføre den politikken han ble valgt til å føre, eller ihvertfall få muligheten til å føre. Estimater rundt skatteinntaket ved å la ‘Bush-skattekuttene’ utgå er av betydlig størrelse. Det vil garantert komme mer rundt inntektssiden av presidentens budsjett.
Third, to address looming, long-term challenges to our fiscal health, the Budget addresses future liabilities in the unemployment insurance system; the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which protects the pensions of workers whose companies have failed; and the Federal Housing Administration, which plays a critical role in affordable housing. It also is committed to implementing the Affordable Care Act swiftly and efficiently since rising health care costs are the single biggest driver of our long-term fiscal problems. Finally, as a down payment toward a permanent fix, the Budget proposes additional reforms to our health care system that would be sufficient to pay for 2 years of fixing the Medicare’s sustainable growth rate, thus preventing a large cut in Medicare reimbursements for doctors that would jeopardize care for older Americans.
In addition, I believe that we need to act now to secure and strengthen Social Security for future generations. Social Security is a solemn commitment to America’s seniors that we must preserve. That is why I have laid out my principles for reform and look forward to working with the Congress on ensuring Social Security’s compact for future generations.
Denne ene paragrafen er den eneste i introduksjon som nevner grep rundt Social Security, ingen av ordene av konkret art. Husker du paien?
To flourish in the global economy, we need a world-class infrastructure—the roads, rails, runways, and information superhighways that are fundamental to commerce. Over the last 2 years, our investments in infrastructure projects already have led to hundreds of thousands of good private sector jobs and begun upgrading our infrastructure across the country. But we still have a long way to go.
Infrastrukturinversteringer er en ‘no-brainer’, multiplikatoren er god i denne sektoren, og ansatte i sektoren er de ‘rette’ mottakerne av infrastrukturpenger.
Finally, to make it easier for our businesses and workers to sell their products all over the globe, we are working toward our goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2014. This will take specific efforts to open up markets and promote American goods and services. It also will take maintaining American leadership abroad and ensuring our security at home. This Budget invests in all elements of our national power—including our military—to achieve our goals of winding down the war in Iraq; defeating al Qaeda in Afghanistan and around the world; reducing the threat of nuclear weapons; and preparing our Nation for emerging threats. We also invest resources to provide for our men and women in uniform and to honor the service of our veterans. And we do this all with an eye to cutting waste, finding efficiencies, and focusing resources on what is essential to our security.
Igjen områder som ikke er essensiellt for langsiktig gjeldsreduksjon, og havner i kortsiktig ‘lavthengende frukt’ kategorien.
T-skjorter med ‘Budsjett er ikke lett’ er i trykken.