Obama Reveals Final Budget Proposal, Professes Hope For The Future

“I have never been more optimistic."

On Tuesday, President Obama presented his budget for fiscal year 2017. The budget includes a $4.1 trillion spending plan for the coming year, and also proposes to eliminate $2.9 trillion in spending over the next 10 years.

"My budget makes critical investments while adhering to the bipartisan budget agreement I signed into law last fall," Obama said in a statement introducing the budget proposal. "It also drives down deficits and maintains our fiscal progress through smart savings from health care, immigration, and tax reforms. And, it focuses on meeting our greatest challenges not only for the year ahead, but for decades to come."

The president's proposed budget is paid in part by raising taxes on wealthy Americans. The plan includes raising the top tax rate on capital gains, requiring millionaires to pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes and raising the tax on oil.

By expanding the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit and adding $152 million in federal research, Obama's budget proposal allows the U.S. to invest heavily in innovation. This new investment includes the full funding for an effort to cure cancer.

The budget proposal also allocates $1.3 billion to tackling international climate change risks, including $750 million to help economically challenged countries cope with the effects of climate change.

Obama describes the plan as investing in the future of America, and that begins with expanding care and education for children. The budget triples the maximum Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to provide care for 1.1 million additional children under the age of four by 2026. The budget also increases the duration of Head Start programs.

For health care, Obama's budget includes $500 million for expanding mental health care coverage to ensure that our behavioral health care systems are working to help as many Americans as possible. There is also an expansion of Medicaid by $2.6 billion over a decade.

The budget was not well-received by Republican leadership in Congress. House Speaker Paul Ryan described it as a "progressive manual for growing the federal government."

While the Republican-controlled legislature is not likely to pass the full budget proposal — Congress' budget committees have refused to even it hear it presented in session —  Obama suggests he is confident in America's ability to work together, adding, "I have never been more optimistic about America's future than I am today."

Cover photo via Mark Wilson/Getty Images.


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