Posted by: JanF | February 16, 2012

Why I Vote For Democrats: The Budget

On Monday, February 13th, President Barack Obama released his 2013 budget. A budget is both a blueprint and a wish list. But above all, a budget is moral document and this year’s budget, like last year’s, is a clear statement of Democratic values.

President Obama signing stuff

When we vote for Democrats, we vote for the morality that is encompassed in the Democratic party platform: that the needs of the people come first:

For over 200 years, Democrats have stood for the idea that wealth and status should not be an entitlement to rule. Democrats recognize that our country and our economy are strongest when they provide opportunity for all Americans—when we grow our country from the bottom up.

Democrats stand for an abiding faith in the judgment of hardworking American families, and a commitment to helping the excluded, the disenfranchised and the poor strengthen our nation by earning themselves a piece of the American Dream. We remember that our country was sculpted by immigrants and slaves, their children and grandchildren. Even today, it is our diversity above all else that provides us with our enduring strength.

Democrats believe that each of us has an obligation to each other, to our neighbors and our communities. Each of us has a role to play in creating our future—and while we have made great progress as a nation, we know that our work is never done.

The 2013 Budget unveiled by President Obama is a commitment to strengthen our economy by rebuilding our manufacturing base, investing in our people, and protecting working class Americans … while preserving the safety net for our neediest.

President Obama on the Budget and An Economy Built to Last:

In the State of the Union, I outlined a blueprint for an economy that is built to last, an economy built on new manufacturing and new sources of energy and new skills and education for the American people. Today we’re releasing the details of that blueprint in the form of next year’s budget.[…]

So an economy built to last demands that we keep doing everything we can to help students learn the skills that businesses are looking for. It means we have to keep strengthening American manufacturing. It means we’ve got to keep investing in American energy. We’ve got to double down on the clean energy that’s creating jobs. But it also means we’ve got to renew the American values of fair play and shared responsibility.[…]

That’s the spirit we’ve got to have right now. We don’t give up in this country. We look out for each other. We pull together. We work hard. We reach for new opportunities. We pull each other up. That’s who we are. And if we work together in common purpose, we will build an economy that lasts, and remind people around the world why America is the greatest country on Earth.

Here are some highlights:

– More than $350 billion in short-term measures for job growth starting in 2012, including many planks of the American Jobs Act that we continue to call on Congress to enact plus some new job creation initiatives

– Make college more affordable and help achieve the President’s goal of the U.S. leading the world in college graduates by 2020:

– $140.8 billion for R&D overall

– A six-year, $476 billion surface transportation reauthorization bill – expanded to included inter-city passenger rail – to create thousands of new jobs and modernize a critical foundation of our economic growth.

– Eliminates inefficient and unfair tax breaks for millionaires while making all tax breaks at least as good for the middle class as for the wealthy; and observes the Buffett Rule that no household making more than $1 million a year pays less than 30 percent of their income in taxes.

And some commentary:

President Barack Obama’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2013 sets a responsible course for rebuilding the economy so that it works for everyone, not just the privileged few. Our middle class is the engine of economic growth, but is threatened by dwindling public investments, a tax system increasingly rigged to benefit the wealthy, a fraying safety net, and assaults on what should be the bedrock guarantees of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

The president’s budget protects those guarantees, boosts critical investments, and takes steps toward rebalancing the tax code so that all pay their fair share. And it does this in a fiscally responsible way, charting a path that nurtures the economic recovery while reducing the federal deficit, all without asking the middle class to shoulder a disproportionate share of the burden.


President Obama’s budget will be roundly ignored by the Republicans in Congress which is why we need to replace the Republicans in Congress with people who care about our values. It is why I Vote For Democrats.