For those who still question exactly what President Obama means by change all one has to do is scan President Obama’s budget for the fiscal year 2010 to see exactly what changes are coming. Finally we have a president who is submitting an honest budget to Congress. The cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are both included in this budget as are projections to cover the cost of disaster relief and further economic stimulus.
But for me the most excited thing of this budget is that it clearly is a device of sweeping social change. As the president promised on Tuesday night increases in spending for health, energy, and education are all features of this budget, this budget is not just a plan for spending, but truly an investment in our country’s future. Without question there will be a loud cry of outrage from the right over the numbers in this budget, but my question is this, is it really the numbers they object to or it the sweeping social changes that could brought about by this budget that they object to?
Bellow is a list of some items from the budget that have caught my eye:
- Provides over $20 billion in loans and grants to support and expand rural development activities, including small businesses, renewable energy, and telecommunications.
- Expands opportunities for students to go to college and graduate by expanding student aid, shifting resources from banks and middlemen toward students, creating new incentives for colleges to focus on student completion, and expanding access to low-cost Federal student loans.
- Begins to build a new economy that is powered by clean and secure energy through funding provided in the 2010 Budget and the $39 billion provided for energy programs in the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
- Provides significant increases in funding for basic research and world-leading scientific user facilities to support transformational discoveries and accelerate solutions to our Nation’s most
pressing problems – including the development of clean energy.
- Supports economic investment and positions the United States as the world leader in climate change technology.
- Accelerates the transition to a low-carbon economy through increased support of the development and deployment of clean energy technologies such as solar, biomass, geothermal, wind, and
low-carbon emission coal power.
- Builds on the $11 billion provided in the Recovery Act for smart grid technologies, transmission system expansion and upgrades, and other investments to modernize and enhance the electric
transmission infrastructure to improve energy efficiency and reliability.
- Invests over $6 billion for cancer research at the National Institutes of Health as part of the Administration’s multi-year commitment to double cancer research funding.
- Strengthens the Indian health system with sustained investments in health care services for American Indians and Alaska Natives to address persistent health disparities and foster healthy Indian communities.
- Invests over $1 billion for Food and Drug Administration food safety efforts to increase and
improve inspections, domestic surveillance, laboratory capacity and domestic response to prevent and control foodborne illness.
- Reinvigorates Federal Civil Rights Enforcement.
- Addresses Federal detention and incarceration programs and ensures that returning Federal prisoners have the support needed to successfully reintegrate into communities.
- Increases funding for public transit to support commuters, improve air quality, and reduce greenhouse gases.
- Supports development of high speed rail networks across the country to link regional population
- Increases funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs by $25 billion above baseline over the next five years.
- Dramatically increases funding for veterans health care.
- Expands eligibility for veterans health care to over 500,000 veterans by 2013.
- Enhances outreach and services related to mental health care and cognitive injuries, including
- Provides $10.5 billion in total for the Environmental Protection Agency, a 34-percent increase over the 2009 likely enacted level.
- Provides $3.9 billion for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, an unprecedented Federal commitment to water infrastructure investment in the United States.
- Provides $475 million for a new Environmental Protection Agency-led, interagency Great Lakes restoration initiative, which will target the most significant problems in the region, including invasive aquatic species, non-point source pollution, and contaminated sediment.
Well for me those are the highlights, I urge you all to go look for youself, the budget is online in a manner that makes it very easy to scan through, I hope you’ll all post what in the budget catches your eye.