By Danielle Ruiz, Special to the Chronicle
While many Republicans have denounced Obama's budget proposal as not addressing the real issues plaguing the US the plan does have many highlights that most conservatives have conveniently chosen to ignore.
When it comes to generating revenue Republicans prefer the "cut spending" approach while Democrats take a "raise taxes" stance. Logically Obama's plan should be seen as a compromise with the GOP since 2/3 of the generated revenue would come from spending cuts, and only 1/3 from new revenue drawn from taxes.
This is where another issue rises, the spending cuts. Politics is just a Catch 22.
You raise taxes and the Republicans get up in arms, but you cut any spending to the Department of Defense and they still run for their pitchforks.
It's never a win-win. Of course, many conservatives will fail to point out that while military spending has been reduced Obama's budget does increase spending in some other important areas. Rather than spend money on wars and weapons Obama has increased the Education department's budget by 2.5%, and the Energy Department's budget by 3.2%.
In 2013 the federal budget will be spending a little more money on after school programs, competitive grants, and even new ways to make college more affordable. The US will be working on clean energy, research and development, and advanced manufacturing. This seems like a much better use of the US budget.
Maybe the military spending cuts were really just a spending shift to other important areas of our government. Obama has even found a way to boost education and jobs.
While many argued that his vetoing of the Keystone Pipeline nixed the opportunity for many Americans to find jobs he did propose an $8 billion Community College to Career Fund which would create about 2 million highly qualified workers for high-demand industries. This blueprint has the capability to boost our economy by tailoring Americans to jobs and simultaneously decreasing our unemployment rate.
If Obama's budget plan is not tampered with too much it has the ability to lower our discretionary spending from 8.7%(2012) to 5.0%(2022) our deficit would go from an estimated $1.33 trillion (2012) to $704 billion (2022). Let's hope that conservatives don't make too much of a fuss.