Yes, we all know President Barack Obama’s budget is dead on arrival. But there are parts you should read anyway.
Why? Because a president’s budget proposals don’t have to get through Congress to have an impact on the political debate. There are always going to be pieces that will show up again in Obama’s speeches, or in the speeches of Senate and House Democrats as they try to draw contrasts with Republican budget ideas.
And there are even a few ideas that have just a hint of bipartisan support. Maybe not enough for Congress to pass them tomorrow but enough to guarantee that some lawmakers will keep pushing their own bills or raising the ideas in one form or another.
Here’s a guide to the proposals that will have a shelf life beyond this week — and a quick nod to the ones that don’t:
Expanded Earned Income Tax Credit
Democrats have been talking for years about expanding the popular tax credit for low-income people to do more for childless workers, since they don’t get much out of it right now. Obama’s budget would do that by doubling the maximum credit from $500 to $1,000 and making it available to young adults starting at age 21 (the minimum age is 25 now).
This is the one proposal that gets mentioned most often, both by Democrats on Capitol Hill and by outside budget experts, as an idea that will live on in the debate over income inequality, regardless of whether Congress actually does anything with it this year. “I think this is something that’s got legs,” said Joel Friedman, vice president for federal fiscal policy at the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities… Read more.