WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget proposal aims to reduce the deficit by $1.1 trillion over 10 years while investing in programs that help boost the U.S. economy and make it more competitive.
Below are key proposals from Obama’s budget:
- The budget will reduce the deficit by $1.1 trillion over 10 years, using spending cuts to achieve 2/3 of that goal.
That figure excludes savings from ending the war in Iraq and does not include potential savings if Bush-era tax cuts for high-income Americans are not extended again. Obama agreed with Republicans to extend those cuts for two years through 2012 but does not want to extend them further. Republicans do.
- It puts a five-year spending freeze on non-security discretionary spending, which the White House says would save $400 billion over 10 years and bring government spending to its lowest level since President Dwight Eisenhower was in power in the 1950s and early 1960s.
- It includes “more than 200 terminations, reductions and savings” that add up to more than $33 billion in savings in fiscal 2012 alone.
- It cuts Community Development Block Grants by $300 million; $2.5 billion from a program, known as LIHEAP, that provides heating assistance to poor people; more than $1 billion in grants to large airports; $950 million for U.S. states’ “revolving funds” for water treatment and other infrastructure.
- More than $2 billion in overhead costs for travel, printing, supplies and advisory contract services are cut.
- The budget outlines a process to get rid of “excess and under-utilized” federal buildings.
- It would end 12 tax breaks for oil, gas, and coal companies to raise $46 billion over 10 years. This money would help pay for programs to support electric vehicles, double the share of U.S. electricity from “clean” energy sources, and reduce energy use in buildings by 20 percent by 2020.
- It proposes to raise $129 billion by tightening international tax rules by limiting deferral of taxes and curtailing what the White House calls abuse of foreign tax credits. Last year’s budget proposal was similar, seeking to raise about $122 billion by trimming loopholes.
- The budget sets aside $148 billion for research and development, including $32 billion for biomedical research. Funding for research on energy efficiency is doubled.
- It invests in building a wireless broadband network to extend high-speed Internet access to 98 percent of Americans. The plan is funded through spectrum auctions, which the White House says would leave $9.6 billion leftover for deficit reduction.
- The plan establishes a National Infrastructure Bank and aims to bring high-speed rail access to 80 percent of Americans within 25 years.
- It invests in education to prepare 100,000 new science, technology, engineering and math teachers.
- It proposes spending $671 billion on the U.S. military next year, including $118 billion for the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. Total spending on national defense in the proposed budget would be $702 billion, a figure that includes spending on nuclear weapons and health care and retirement, down from $721.3 billion in fiscal 2010.
Reporting by Jeff Mason and Alister Bull in Washington; editing by Christopher Wilson and Sandra Maler