Mar 03, 2014 | By Sister Marge Clark
On Tuesday, March 4, President Obama will release his budget request for FY15. What do you need to listen and watch for on the news? Compare President Obama's budget to a Faithful Budget.
- Defense Spending – Secretary Hagel released the defense budget he sent to the President. It cuts overall defense spending – by cutting many of the wrong things: military healthcare premiums and military housing assistance. He increases the “Overseas Contingency Operations” fund – meant for unexpected expenses on the ground during war – which is less monitored than any other funding. A Faithful Budget would prioritize taking proper care of our men and women who have served our country, and reducing our over-sized military force. What will the President say about military spending?
- Social Security and other mandated programs – A Faithful Budget ensures that all who age in this country can do so with dignity. If there are reductions, who will pay the price of those? How firm will the President be on not instituting the “chained-CPI” for these programs?
- Medicare – A Faithful Budget ensures that dignified access to quality healthcare is possible for all. What will the President propose on means-testing for Medicare?
- Refundable tax credits – A Faithful Budget includes reasonable revenue for responsible programs such as the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Will the President recommend making permanent the 5-year improvements to the CTC and EITC?
- Tax havens – A Faithful Budget honors the principle "for those to whom much has been given, much will be required" (Luke 12:48). What will be in the budget to restrict corporations’ hiding of profits offshore to avoid payment of taxes?
- New Spending Priorities – We have heard about $56 billion in new spending for a “Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative.” A Faithful Budget would invest in maximizing our human potential and stewarding God's Earth. How will the President propose these new funds be used in both defense and non-defense areas?
The Senate has decided NOT to prepare a budget for FY15, as spending levels are already designated, and appropriations can go on. The House WILL do a budget – it will be a message piece – watch for it in a few weeks.