Obama unveils USD 4 trillion budget
Washington, Feb 2: US President Barack Obama today unveiled a USD 4 trillion budget aimed at improving the nation's infrastructure and boosting middle-class Americans by increasing taxes on businesses and the wealthy, setting up a battle with Republicans over the proposal.
Sending his annual budget proposals to the a Republican-majority Congress, Obama said his proposals will put more money in middle-class pockets, raise wages, and bring more high paying jobs to America.
"To pay for them, the budget will cut inefficient spending and close tax loopholes to make sure that everyone pays their fair share," he said.
Obama said the budget closes loopholes that punish businesses investing domestically and reward companies that keep profits abroad, and uses some of the savings created to rebuild the ageing infrastructure. "The budget closes loopholes that perpetuate inequality by allowing the top one per cent of Americans to avoid paying any taxes on their accumulated wealth and uses that money to help more young people go to college," he said.
The budget includes USD 561 billion in military spending, which includes funds for the Wests confrontation with Russia over its incursion in Ukraine and the US-led fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. It also reserves USD 14 billion for cybersecurity measures. Obama said the budget supports his Administration's efforts to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL.
"We are leading over 60 partners in a global effort that will take time and steady resolve," he said and called on the Congress to show the world that we are united in this mission by passing a bill to authorise the use of force against ISIL. According to the US President, the budget provides the resources the US needs to defend the nation against cyber-attacks.
"No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families. In addition to increasing funding to protect our nation against cyber-attacks, I continue to urge the Congress to finally pass the legislation we need to meet this evolving threat," he said.
Among other things, the annual budget invests efforts to confront the threat posed by infectious diseases like Ebola -- at home, and internationally. It provides resources to support the Global Health Security Agenda, increases funding to eradicate polio and other global health challenges, and creates a new Impact Fund for targeted global HIV/AIDS efforts. In his budget proposals, Obama continues with his Asia Pacific rebalance.