*The liberal or progressive idea of conquering the record federal budget deficit by generating tax-paying jobs appears to have been abandoned by both the Republican Party and the administration of President Obama.
The idea essentially involves economic policies which would create millions of new jobs. The newly employed would pay taxes and over time the deficit (projected to surge to $1.65 trillion this year) would be reduced or even eliminated.
However, the $3.73 trillion spending plan outlined by Obama administration officials Monday basically adopts conservative Republican economic theory which calls for slashing the money spent on social programs – particularly those which tend to be most beneficial to minorities and the poor.
Obama’s proposed cuts are not as draconian or mean-spirited as those proposed by the Republicans but social programs still bare the brunt of the proposed budget cuts. On the chopping block are deep cuts in community health services, housing assistance, job training, Pell grants for low-income college students, environmental protection and Community Development Block Grants.
President Obama includes cuts in military spending in his budget plans. But the Republicans do not want to take a single dime from the military and the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Further, Obama is proposing tax increases which would primarily hit the wealthy. Again, however, the Republicans are opposed.
Despite being less harsh, President Obama’s budget essentially adopts conservative economic theory which argues that the best way to reduce the deficit is to cut government spending on social programs. There is little doubt that this approach will make life more difficult for the poor and average members of the working class.