The United States federal budget is the proposal by the president of the United States to the congress, recommending the funding levels of the next year (fiscal year), which normally starts on October 1. The decisions concerning proposed federal budget that are made by the congress are governed by the legislation as well as the rules pertaining federal budget process. In the federal budget, the Budget Committees usually set the limits of spending of the House while the Senate Committees set the spending limits of the Appropriations Subcommittees.
The Appropriations Subcommittees then approve each Appropriations Bill so as to allocate the funding to the various federal programs. Once the congress has approved the Appropriations Bill, they forward it to the president. The president in turn might sign the bill or veto it. If vetoed, it is taken back to the congress and the congress has the authority to pass such a bill into a law upon the majority vote of two- thirds of each chamber.
Every year, the United States president submits a budget request to the congress for the next fiscal year. This is per the requirement by the Budget and Accounting Act Of 1991.
Currently, the law requires the US president to present a budget not before the first Monday of January and not past the first Monday of February. The US federal budget is largely calculated in the basis of cash; that is, outlays and revenues are usually recognized upon making the transaction (Federal Budget, par. 8-10) The 2011 Federal Budget The US federal budget for 2011 is a detailed spending request that was forwarded by the US president, Barrack Obama, for funding the operations of the US government representing the months between October 2010 and September 2011.
On Monday, January 1, 2010 the US president, Barrack Obama submitted the current 2011 federal budget to the congress. The 2011 federal budget is a 192-paged document with the details of the $ 3. 8 trillion of planned federal spending in the fiscal year 2011. However, the 2011 final budget shall be enacted in October, 1st. On a general overview, reductions on taxes were included in the budget in addition to the presidents saying that over $300 billion for the next ten years put for families, individuals and businesses.
The federal budget also reflected the president’s commitment towards making the creation of job opportunities, a leading priority in his government. The federal budget to this effect includes a $100 billion amount for direct job-creating expected investments in tax cuts, small business, infrastructure and clean energy. This is inclusive of a newly introduced business jobs as well as wages tax cut for spurring small businesses wage increases and hiring- this is expected to cost $33 billion. Obama also plans to increase child care tax- break for the average class families.
In addition, he intends to bring into enforcement a 3 -year expenditure freeze on the non security discretionary expenditure. This move will save approximately more than $250 billion for more than ten years (Fox News, par 4-7). The Key Factors in the 2011 Federal Budget The overall spending in the whole of 2011 fiscal year was presented as $3. 834 trillion while the discretionary spending totaled to $1. 415 trillion. The deficit projected for 2011 amounts to $1. 267 trillion which is 8. 3% of the Gross Domestic Product.
The projected deficit reflects a downward movement from last years’ which was $1. 556 trillion (10. 6% of the 2010 Gross Domestic Product. There is also the elimination of tax on the capital gains of new investments from small businesses. Conforming to the earlier releases, 2011 federal budget will curtail spending on over one hundred and twenty federal programs while at the same time allocating a patronizing $100 billion towards unemployment initiatives. However, some among the administration’s senior profile programs seem to be tabled top.
Most notable is the controversial Healthcare Reform and the Climate Change Programs which are allotted only the minimal allowances in this budget. The budget puts a total of $200 billion on defense programs in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan and other related areas (Manning, par. 1) The large tone of 2011 federal budget puts deep emphasis on new, fresh initiatives in almost all agencies especially in energy, education and technology. For instance, about $90 billion is expected to be raised from Wall Street for taxpayer bailouts (Manning, par. 2)
Analysis of the United States Most addressed Departments: In Comparison With 2010 Federal Budget Prospects The 2011 federal budget affects all the ministries and departments within president Obama’s administration. Almost all the departments are reflecting increases in the prospected levels of spending in the fiscal year starting October 1, 2010 but major changes in spending are clearly evident in the departments which have been analyzed. These departments of the government represent the section that mostly need extra attention to enable the economy of the United States of American overcome the current deficits and crisis.
To begin with is the Social Security Administration. The 2011 social security administration’s discretionary budget is aimed at improving the integrity of the social security administration, enhancing the total efficiency and reducing backlogs. It has received the highest percentage in mandatory budget. The enacted spending in the 2010 fiscal year was $11. 6 billion and the requested and mandatory spending on the same amounts to $12. 5 and 779. 4 billion respectively. Social security administration carries the largest budget sum in any government.
The Department of Defense once again took the largest share of discretionary budget with a total increase of approximately $ 8. 2 billion more than the 2010 federal budget. This is in an action to address the current military strategy as well as to care for the United States military and acquire weapons. The requested spending in 2011 is $708. 3 billion, $33. 0 billion supplemental, $ 660. 4 billion enacted in 2010 and a mandatory spending of $4. 36 billion in the fiscal year 2011. This is highest prospect for this department that has ever been made in the history of the United States of America (Manning, par.2-5) The administration of Obama places a lot of emphasis on education. The president’s priority has been openly stated in the 2011 federal budget as he calls for a rise of about $3billion on discretionary spending in addition to a wholesome increase totaling $15. 5 billion on education. Fiscal year 2011 requested spending on education amounts to $49. 7 billion. Enacted spending in 2010 to $46. 8 and the mandatory spending for 2011 fiscal year is $24 billion. The budget puts large incentives on the students, the schools and their teachers so as to be able to attain better standards of education.
The major goal of the 2011 federal budget on education is to come up with a more competitive student body in education. The Agriculture Department on the other hand has a much diversified mandate which includes the issues concerning food, agriculture, oversight of the natural resources of US and the rural development. The 2011 federal budget in this regard has placed heavy emphasis towards agricultural development programs which are a reflection of Obama’s agenda of agricultural recovery.
It shows major increases in areas that will create more employment opportunities, provide efficient energy use and help rural American communities to achieve household needs. The 2011 budget gives funding solutions for encouraging development of jobs and initiating new housing, infrastructure and utility initiatives. In this regard, the 2011 fiscal years’ requested spending on the agricultural department sums to $25. 8 billion while the 2010 enacted spending was $27 billion and the mandatory spending is $105 billion (Manning, par. 6-9)
The proposed budget by the US president for veterans’ affairs’ department calls for a rise from the 2010’s $56. 1 billion. The proposals include more services to the veterans and improving the care of the veterans and improving the services to the past servicemen. The 2011 veterans’ affairs proposed budget by President Obama stands out as the ever largest budget. Further, The Department of Labor is responsible for preparing employees for safe, good jobs which gives them the opportunity to be able to support themselves and their families.
In addition, the department is charged with paying unemployment benefits and to do that, there is an increase of $18 billion in the 2011 fiscal year. On Department Of Treasury, the proposed budget for 2011 recommends for a rise from the 2010’s $13. 554 billion since the departments’ are key in regulating the economy of US. The 2011 proposed budget has included funds for strengthening the economy, modernizing the financial institutions’’ regulations and helping the homeowners. The requested fiscal year’s spending in 2011 proposed budget for the treasury is $13.
94; the 2010 enacted spending is $13. 25 and the mandatory spending in this regard amounts to$79 billion (Manning, par. 10-14) `The president’s increase on spending on transport is not only meant for promoting safety but also as a tool for creating more and more jobs, the creation of a national infrastructure innovation and finance fund, investing in “high speed rail” and upgrading the sensible components of the federal aviation administration. Obama has proposed a $78. 8 billion spending in 2011 while the 2010 enacted and mandatory spending amounts to $677 billion and $1 billion respectively.
Although other departments in the president’s proposal have also been greatly addressed, they did not entail as huge changes and emphasis on spending for 2010-2011 fiscal years as does the above areas of the government (Manning, par. 15, 16) Addressing the Current Federal Budget Challenges On a recent press release, a key figure in the US administration stated that it is a very easy task for the Americans to criticize the deficits on the released 2011 federal budget by the president but at the same time they did not take any step towards addressing the issue.
He argued that many of the various steps which can be taken to address the deficits are very unpopular. This is the major problem even the government is facing. The current deficit in the federal budget for 2011 is partly due to the 2007-2010 financial crises which has caused reductions in taxes revenues dramatically and also involved huge stimulus spending. The other reason is due to the current increase in healthcare expenditures per person.
It is not possible for US to regain economic sustainability when the taxes are increasing or by curtailing on the healthcare costs per individual. Therefore to address the deficit problems in the current federal budget, the US government will need to face the increasing costs on healthcare which are driving the Medicaid and Medicare programs. This being the case, the government should consider reallocating the spending on the health care reform program which directly affects the Medicare and healthcare programs of the budget (Fox News, par.9, 10) Conclusion President Obama’s proposal presents a huge step along the path of fiscal sustainability; it placed $1. 2 trillion in the reduction of deficit funding in the coming ten years, while excluding the savings from presumed ramp-down into war financing over time. Further than the discretionary federal budget, President Obama’s government described details concerning how they were planning to save over $15 billion through discretionary spending.
This entailed means of improving efficiency by means of tactics such as powering down the computers with $700,000, cutting on the production of aircraft by $2. 5 billion and through use of video conferencing which will save $3 billion. However, notable flaws in the proposed budget include an evident heavy emphasis on the administrations’ main programs while almost neglecting very crucial matters such as the controversial healthcare reform and climate change which were allocated the minimum allowances in the 2011 federal budget.