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The President’s Budget – Supporting Key Investments for Women and Fairer Taxes

The President’s Budget for fiscal year 2013 came out on Monday and we’ve been doing some serious number crunching all week. Our whole analysis gives you all the details, but I give you the quick breakdown right here.

The main take away point:

At a time when the economic recovery is picking up steam, but millions of women and men are still struggling to get back on their feet, this budget generally takes the right approach – it proposes investments to strengthen the economy and protects the most vulnerable while seeking increased revenues from those with the greatest ability to pay. 

What makes us happy:

We really like certain elements of the budget – it proposes needed investments in job creation, it supports the Affordable Care Act and protects Social Security benefits. It also increases funding for child care and early education, child nutrition, health services for women veterans, enforcement of civil rights and labor laws by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Wage and Hour Division. It makes permanent improvements in tax credits for lower-income working families that were part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and increases the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for low- and middle-income families with child care expenses. Finally, the budget takes key steps toward a tax system that would require millionaires and corporations to pay their fair share of taxes.

What concerns us:

There are places where the budget falls short. While the budget highlights the need to invest in U.S. manufacturing, it also cuts programs that could help ensure that these new opportunities are available to women, including the Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations program (eliminated) and Women’s Bureau in the Department of Labor (reduced funding). There are risks that proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid could lead to cost shifting to beneficiaries or states or drop recipients entirely. And the budget proposes cuts to some programs serving low-income people, including the Community Services Block Grant and Low Income Housing and Energy Assistance Program, and would require the lowest-income families receiving housing assistance to pay more for rent.

What should happen now:

In the face of continued high unemployment and poverty, even more should be done to create jobs, provide help for those in need, and improve tax fairness. Nevertheless, the President’s budget presents a stark contrast to that advanced by Republican leaders last year and represents an important step toward a more equitable society.

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