Obama Unveils Budget

President Obama releases his first budget. The administration has outlined plans for health care, education and clean energy.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

NPR's business news starts with a budget from the president.

(Soundbite of music)

MONTAGNE: So far, it's just a proposal, but it's a sign of how President Obama hopes to put his plans into reality. Details of the president's first-ever budget plan were submitted to Congress this morning. They show that the president hopes to raise billions of dollars by raising taxes for wealthier Americans. He wants to eliminate subsidies to some agricultural businesses.

Scott Horsley has more details on where the president would like to spend some extra dollars.

SCOTT HORSLEY: President Obama's 10-year spending plan sets aside more than $600 billion as a down payment on health care reform. About half that money would come from reallocating Medicare dollars. The rest would come from raising taxes on wealthy Americans. Mr. Obama would allow the Bush administration's tax cuts for families making more than a quarter million dollars a year to expire at the end of next year. He would also limit the tax deductions that top earners can take.

President BARACK OBAMA: With this budget, we are making a historic commitment to comprehensive health care reform. It's a step that will not only make families healthier and companies more competitive, but over the long term, it will also help us bring down our deficit.

HORSLEY: The president's spending plan would also extend the $400-a-year tax break for low and middle-income workers that was included in the stimulus bill. Money for that would come from new fees on carbon emissions, part of the president's proposed cap and trade system to cut down on greenhouse gases. The plan also suggests the administration may ask for another $250 billion to prop up the banking system, although officials say that figure is merely a placeholder. The budget summary released today leaves plenty of room for Congress to color in the outlines, but it makes clear Mr. Obama's desire to move forward with the health care, energy and tax proposals on which he campaigned.

Scott Horsley, NPR News, the White House.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: