NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Obama Gives Congress Much Work to Do to Offer a Better Budget

March 30, 2015

On February 2, President Obama revealed his budget for fiscal year 2016. The FY 2016 budget calls for $4 trillion in government spending. Obama proposes to spend $75 billion more in 2016. On the other hand, Obama's budget fails to substantively reform entitlement programs.

Obama's budget never balances. Even with $1.6 trillion in tax increases, the deficit will still grow to almost $700 billion at the end of the decade, adding another $6 trillion in cumulative debt to the $18 trillion the federal government has already amassed.

The Defense Department is underfunded again in the 2016 budget. The president's $561 billion request in discretionary funding for the defense category is $23 billion less than the necessary budget level required to fund major military requirements. In addition, the budget seeks significant increases for State Department operations, contributions to international organizations, development and economic assistance that should be reviewed closely.

Obamacare is responsible for 44 percent of the increase in entitlement spending over the next decade. Obamacare is not only fiscally irresponsible; it is also bad health policy. Congress must develop and enact a viable alternative - real health care reform that would lower costs by putting individuals, rather than the government, in charge.

The President's budget also proposes imposing more price controls in Part D via Medicaid-style drug rebates. The important thing to understand is that any government drug price control or rebate scheme will only work if the government is willing to deny patients access to the drugs should the manufacturer not play along.

President Obama's budget grows federal intervention in nearly every aspect of education, from preschool through "free" community college. The budget increases spending on programs operated by the U.S. Department of Education by more than 5 percent - a $3.6 billion increase.

Source: Romina Boccia, Michael Sargent, "$4 Trillion and Counting: President Obama's 2016 Budget Presents a Vision of Government Largess," The Heritage Foundation, March 26, 2015.

 

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