2016 US Budget: How Obama's 2016 Budget Proposals Impacts Immigration, Education, Grants and Loans
Developing from the "middle class economics" from the State of the Union address, President Barack Obama released the 2016 fiscal year budget aimed to benefit hard-working families and millennials.
The 2016 fiscal year budget, according to the Obama administration, is to help working families "feel more secure" with their paychecks. With the new budget, the administration said the country's deficit can be reduced by $1.8 trillion. The projected deficit reduction comes with reforms toward health programs, tax codes and immigration.
The "middle class economics" phrase emphasizes on the concept that "all Americans have the opportunity to succeed in [the] global economy and all working families can afford the cornerstones of economic security: child care, college, health care, a home, and retirement," specifically tax-code reforms for middle-class families, tripling the child care tax credit, expanding affordable health care with state paid leave initiatives and child care assistance, tuition-free two-year community college for eligible students, improved job training and retirement savings.
On immigration, the budget report noted Obama's support for "commonsense, comprehensive" immigration reform, including the bipartisan effort by the U.S. Senate in June 2013. According to the report, immigration reform will boost the U.S. budget by approximately $1 trillion during the next two decades and the Social Security Trust Fund by shortening the trust fund's shortfall gap by 8 percent.
"It (immigration reform) also strengthens the economy by boosting GDP growth, reducing the deficit, raising average wages for U.S.-born and immigrant workers, increasing the size of the labor force, and raising productivity," the budget report continued.
For the U.S. Department of State, Obama's budget provides $1 billion to "address the root causes of migration from Central America, including the migration of unaccompanied children." The State Department's budget on immigration includes $142 million for Mexico to help improve its enforcement capacity at its southern border.
Overall, $160 billion in savings could occur from immigration reform, according to the Obama administration.
Further affecting the millennial demographic, the budget report recognized nearly two-thirds of employment opportunities will require post-secondary education and training by 2020. Therefore, the budget includes Obama's free community college plan -- officially known as "America's College Promise." The plan creates another federal-state partnership to provide two-years of tuition-free community college for "responsible" students. With America's College Promise, the proposal seeks to promote reforms for the community college system and improve gateways to a career or a four-year degree.
As Latin Post reported, the White House estimated 9 million students could benefit from the free community college plan. Grants and loans are another pressing topic for millennials seeking to continue their education. The 2016 fiscal budget acknowledges the role Pell Grants have had for students and how it has been annually adjusted for inflation. The annual inflation adjustments are expected to end in 2017 unless Congress acts, and as a result, Pell Grants' value "will start to erode." The budget includes Obama's commitment to ensure Pell Grants are on pace with inflation.
In regards to loans, the budget proposes an expansion of the Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) plan, which puts a limit on student loan payments at 10 percent of monthly discretionary income. The PAYE expansion would be extended to all student borrowers but also reform PAYE terms in order to safeguard the program.
The budget also seeks to "simplify, consolidate and expand" the higher education tax credits, which could cut taxes for 8.5 million families and students and have a larger effect for over 25 million families. The budget also proposes a move to simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) program.
Obama's budget also calls for $200 million for a new "American Technical Training Fund," which will create or expand "innovative, evidence-based job training programs in high-demand fields that provide a path to the middle class for hard-working, low-wage Americans."
"Projects would emphasize strong employer partnerships, work-based learning opportunities, accelerated training, and flexible scheduling for students to accommodate part-time work. Programs could be created within current community colleges, other innovative, non-traditional training providers, or these entities in partnership with secondary programs," noted the report, adding the initiative will be administered by the U.S. Department of Education and Labor Department
In a statement sent to Latin Post, Carmel Martin, executive vice president for policy at the Center for American Progress, a nonpartisan research and educational institute, said the budget has a detailed outline to "create good jobs, raise wages, and help working families achieve middle-class security."
"Many of these proposals have bipartisan appeal, such as expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, investing in infrastructure and early childhood education, and passing comprehensive immigration reform," Martin said. "Rather than stumbling through a series of unnecessary manufactured crises or clinging to failed austerity measures such as sequestration, Congress has an opportunity to work with President Obama to build an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few."
Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus said Obama's budget will add onto the country's growing debt while mentioning potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
"By offering a budget that taxes more, spends more, and adds trillions of new debt, it's clear President Obama would rather play politics and double down on the same top-down approach that has left the middle class behind," Priebus said. "While President Obama and Hillary Clinton believe in putting Washington first, Republicans are embracing the American people's priorities and will present a budget that balances while making the federal government more efficient, effective, and accountable."
For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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