President Obama’s 2014 budget proposal, released this morning in advance of a public unveiling, reserves $50 billion for upfront infrastructure projects, creates a program aimed at increasing private investment in infrastructure, and sets money aside to re-tool the nation’s air-traffic control system.
The transportation measures Obama announced are aimed at improving the D+ infrastructure grade the nation recently received from the American Society of Civil Engineers. The budget also makes good on promises the president made during a recent trip to Miami, where he touted his Rebuild America Partnership. The program would, among other things, create a national infrastructure bank for public and private loans and create bonds that can be used for infrastructure projects.
“The budget invests in repairing our existing infrastructure and building the infrastructure of tomorrow,” according to the document. “These investments will both lay the foundation for long-term economic growth and put workers back on the job now.”
In Obama’s proposed $50 billion for upfront infrastructure investments, 80 percent of the money would be reserved for the immediate repair of aging infrastructure like highways, bridges and airports. The remaining money would be reserved for programs to encourage innovation in high-value infrastructure projects. To make these innovations and private investments more of a priority, Obama wants to cut permitting times in half for major projects by streamlining the permitting process.
The president also wants to indirectly boost America’s supply chain by creating jobs in the manufacturing sector. He has proposed a $1-billion project to create up to 15 “epicenters of advanced manufacturing” around the country, which would spur job growth.
Obama’s budget proposal includes a simplification of the tax code — eliminating tax loopholes and creating new tax cuts for businesses that hire workers — increased spending aimed to boost job growth, and expansions in educational programs.
The president's budget plan, as outlined in the proposal, will likely go through numerous changes before it becomes the guideline for 2014. According to reports, pushback from both sides of the legislative aisle is already occurring due to Obama's proposed tax and Medicare changes. In a press briefing Tuesday, White House spokesman Jay Carney tried to explain some of the disgruntled voices coming from Obama's own party.
"I think Democrats and allies understand that this budget the president
will put forward tomorrow is not his ideal budget," he said. "It is a document
that recognizes that to achieve a bipartisan solution to our budget
challenges we need to make tough choices. It demonstrates, in stark
contrast to the House Republican budget, that you can invest in our
economy and protect our middle class and protect our seniors, and reduce
The entire proposed budget can be viewed here
.- Jon Ross