Competing Visions: President Obama, Rep. Paul Ryan, and House Progressives Release Budget Proposals for 2015 | National Priorities Project

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National Priorities Project examines how new budget proposals stack up against what Americans want.

By Jasmine Tucker and Mattea Kramer

Public Opinion: What Do Americans Want? President Obama Rep. Paul Ryan and the House Budget Committee House Congressional Progressive Caucus
Job Creation 74 percent say improving the job situation is a key issue facing the president and Congress this year. $143 billion over 10 years for job creation initiatives, including infrastructure repairs and tax credits for small businesses that hire or raise wages. No new funding for job creation. $1.3 trillion over 10 years for job creation through measures such as infrastructure investment, tax credits, and aid to the 50 states.
Medicaid 74 percent have a favorable view of the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare. Maintains the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare. Makes deep cuts to Medicaid and converts the program to a block grant administered at the state level. Repeals Medicaid expansion. Increases funding for Medicaid through supplemental grants to states. Reduces fraud, waste, and abuse in Medicaid.
SNAP (food stamps) 70 percentoppose cuts to SNAP. No proposed changes. Makes deep cuts to SNAP funding and converts the program to a block grant administered at the state level. Restores SNAP benefits to pre-Recovery Act expiration and pre-Farm Bill levels, investing $15 billion over 10 years.
Education 69 percent say improving the education system in the U.S. is a top priority for the president and Congress this year. Provides $66 billion over 10 years to fund Preschool for All Initiative, as well as introduces a Race to the Top Equity and Opportunity competition. Freezes the maximum Pell grant award at the same level for the next 10 years, provides financial aid to fewer families, and makes substantial cuts to overall discretionary spending, which includes education. Provides $47 billion over 10 years to invest in teachers and K-12 schools in addition to adding substantial general discretionary funding for education.
Tax Loopholes 67 percent want a budget that closes corporate tax loopholes and limits tax breaks for the wealthy. Places limits on tax deductions for top income earners and implements Buffett Rule to collectively raise $651 billion over 10 years. Ends the “carried interest” loophole that benefits hedge fund managers and eliminates special tax breaks for corporations (raises $13.8 billion over 10 years). Plans to close tax loopholes to simplify the tax code but does not specify which ones. Places limits on tax deductions for top earners. Limits corporate loopholes for stock options, executive bonus pay, jets, and meals and entertainment to raise $153 billion over 10 years. Also eliminates the home mortgage-interest deduction for vacation homes and yachts to raise $14 billion over 10 years.
Corporate Taxes 66 percent think corporations pay too little in taxes. 
79 percent want to close tax loopholes to ensure corporations pay as much on foreign profits as they do on domestic profits.
Limits corporate tax avoidance by tightening rules on how corporations attribute profits overseas, to raise $150 billion. Eliminates special tax breaks for oil and gas companies ($48 billion over 10 years). Reduces the top corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent and moves to an “international” tax system that would reduce or eliminate taxes on overseas corporate profits. In addition to closing tax loopholes (specified above), creates a “Wall Street sales tax” on financial transactions including the sale of stocks and bonds to raise $908 billion over 10 years. Ends tax “deferral” by preventing corporations from avoiding U.S. taxes overseas (raises $620 billion over 10 years).
Individual Taxes 61 percent say upper-income earners don’t pay enough in taxes. Imposes a “Buffett rule” – a minimum tax rate on millionaires – to raise $53 billion over 10 years. Would expand the earned income tax credit for childless workers at a cost of $60 billion over 10 years. Steeply reduces tax rates for top earners by replacing the current tax brackets with just two brackets of 10 percent and 25 percent. Ends the Bush-era tax cuts for families earning over $250,000, creates five new tax brackets for millionaires and billionaires, and ends special low tax rates for investment income among other measures to raise $1.27 trillion over 10 years. Would expand the earned income tax credit for childless workers at a cost of $60 billion over 10 years.
Social Security 66 percent say making the Social Security system sound is a key issue facing the president and Congress this year. Would prevent individuals from collecting Social Security Disability Insurance and Unemployment Insurance benefits at the same time, reducing costs $3.2 billion over 10 years, or well under 1 percent of projected Social Security costs. Requires the president and Congress to submit plans for the long-term financial outlook of Social Security. Would prevent individuals from collecting Social Security Disability Insurance and Unemployment Insurance benefits at the same time, reducing costs $3.2 billion over 10 years, or well under 1 percent of projected Social Security costs. No proposed changes but does endorse changes such as eliminating the cap on earnings subject to Social Security tax (currently set at $117,000) and using a special consumer price index for the elderly for cost-of-living adjustments.
Medicare 61 percent say making the Medicare system sound is a key issue facing the president and Congress this year. Raises premiums on wealthy retirees, and reduces Medicare Advantage payments to private insurers, among other changes, to save $354 billion over 10 years. Beginning in 2024 seniors will have the option to receive a lump sum of money to buy private insurance. The lump sum would keep pace with inflation but not the rate of health care cost growth. Raises premiums on wealthy retirees, and reduces Medicare Advantage payments to private insurers. Raises the eligibility age to correspond with Social Security’s retirement age beginning in 2024. Negotiates for lower prescription drug prices to save $157 billion over 10 years.
War Funding (“Overseas Contingency Operations”) 82 percent oppose the war in Afghanistan. Does not specify, but leaves a “placeholder” for war funding at the same level as the president’s proposal for 2014. (In total, 2014 war funding amounted to $92.3 billion.) Leaves a “placeholder” for war funding that matches the president’s budget proposal. Funds complete withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2015 and completely eliminates “Overseas Contingency Operations” funding thereafter
Pentagon and Other Military Funding 58 percent would support substantial reductions in military spending. Prevents across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration from affecting the military budget by adding $28 billion in new initiatives. Proposes a Department of Defense budget of $550 billion in 2015, an increase of 5 percent relative to 2014. Prevents across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration from affecting the military budget. Maintains currently projected spending levels through 2021 under Budget Control Act and then proposes growth in military spending thereafter. Reduces military spending by $255 billion over 10 years.
Domestic Discretionary Funding(Education, energy and environment, housing, job training, etc.) Opinion polls suggest that domestic investment in education,energy and environment,job training, and other areas are top priorities for Americans.Other polls show Americans would rather see higher tax revenue than cuts to these areas. Prevents sequestration cuts to domestic programs and provides an additional $162 billion above sequester levels over 10 years. Allows sequestration to cut domestic programs and then makes substantial additional cuts over 10 years – nearing 20 percent in some cases – for total savings of $791 billion over a decade. Prevents sequestration cuts to domestic programs and provides an additional $1.56 trillion above sequester levels over 10 years.

via Competing Visions: President Obama, Rep. Paul Ryan, and House Progressives Release Budget Proposals for 2015 | National Priorities Project.