President Obama with young child on his lap, sitting in elementary school classroom

Obama’s Big Budget

Earlier this month, President Obama released his budget for fiscal year 2015, which proposes new programs, withdraws some past proposals and reduces the deficit. We applaud the President, as the budget reflects the commandment in Proverbs 31:9 to, “speak up, judge righteously, champion the poor and the needy.”

Some of the highlights include:

  • An expanded Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which would bring millions out of poverty, especially young, single adults. The proposal would expand the credit to 5.8 million new workers and increase the credit for an additional 7.7 million workers.
  • A new $56 billion fund called the Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative. This fund will relieve the majority of the harmful sequester cuts left by the Murray-Ryan compromise, and create universal pre-kindergarten programs in two-thirds of states by 2015 and expand the Head Start program.
  • The abandonment of potential changes to Social Security benefit calculations, which would have lowered benefits to all seniors.

If you want a short (and visual) summary, the Center for a Responsible Budget has nine graphs that explain the long term effects of the budget concisely.

If you want an even shorter overview, the Washington Post’s WonkBlog explains it in just two graphs.

Image Courtesy of  the White House

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Howie Levine

About Howie Levine

Howie Levine is an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant. He is originally from St. Paul, MN where he is a member of Mt. Zion Temple. He recently graduated from Tufts University.

3 Responses to “Obama’s Big Budget”

  1. I am concerned about a lack of quality information being shared with the public regarding the education budget. Although I have read that RAC opposes voucher legislation, less clear is the position RAC has on issues of High Stakes Testing and imposition of Common Core Standards in our public schools. The President’s ’15 budget doubles down on what is called “competitive grants” which are actually federal mandates to ramp up data collection for sale via testing, tie teacher evaluation to test scores to bust unions, use data to close neighborhood public schools to be sold to for profit management companies, promote “virtual” learning/classrooms sans professional educators – all with a focus on “lower performing schools” solely determined by such testing. The schools scheduled to compete for such “grant awards” (which were formally known as Title 1 funds) are located in communities ravaged by poverty, are often entirely made of up persons of color, many of whom do not speak English as a first language. None of the so called reforms, including the Common Core State Standards and their mandatory High Stakes Testing, are required to be implemented in private schools – where the majority of students come from more connected and affluent families, nor will be monitored in high performing public schools (which are directly correlated by SES). In my opinion it is the social justice issue of our time – disparate education inputs and outcomes resulting in a gross exacerbation of the gap between the haves and have nots, orchestrated by government, for corporate profit.


  1. Let The Appropriations Games Commence | Fresh Updates from RAC - March 31, 2014

    […] this month, President Obama released his budget, including an improved Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and an end to sequester cuts through a […]

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