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A Bold Budget

La Opinin, Editorial, Staff Posted: Feb 28, 2009

The Obama Administrations first budget is a bold gamble to invest in the present, but its high cost leaves concerns about its impact on future finances.

Obama came to the White House with an agenda for change. His spending plan shows that he is determined to deliver on that promise. The budget priorities aim to reverse almost three decades of conservatism that have led to a decline in education and healthcare, as well as the energy sector. The presidents proposal aims to end policies of dependence on nonrenewable, polluting resources.

It is also time to readjust the tax balance that redistributed the wealth in such a way that the gap grew larger, and the real value of wages fell. Purchasing power remained stable only by increasing personal debt.

We are also particularly pleased with the governments commitment to transparency in presenting its numbers. The previous administrations policy of accounting for war spending separately and considering taxes that would never be collected was fundamentally dishonest.

Nevertheless, this budget, like those of previous presidents, may be overly optimistic in its economic growth projections.

At the same time, it is impossible not to be concerned by the sheer magnitude of the budget and its impact on the deficit, especially when other major investments are being made for to address the financial crisis, like the bank bailout, the stimulus package, credit support, and the response to the wave of foreclosures. It remains unclear how the promised deficit reduction will take place in order to prevent the debt from dragging down future growth and investment.

In short, voters asked for a drastic change of course and Obama is doing just that with this budget. The plan may be considered extremely ambitious, but this is just the beginning of a legislative process that will water down many of the proposals.

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