Last week President Obama unveiled his 2016 budget.
Truth be told, the contents came as little surprise to anyone – on either side of the aisle. It spends a lot. And it taxes a lot.
More than anything, it barely compromises at all. The president’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2016 features significant increases to the discretionary budgets for nearly every agency and department of the federal government.
A possible area of compromise is the President’s decision to increase the overall defense budget by 4% to $585.2 billion in 2016, up from $560.3 billion for 2015. This development – along with a surge in spending on infrastructure and an expansion of the earned income credit for the working poor – should muster some approval from Republicans. But in light of the $60 billion over 10 years that President Obama plans to spend on offering free community college, for instance, we’re looking at another budget impasse.
Gone are the days of the grand bargain when the president worked with senators and representatives from both parties. The nation celebrated when the group vowed to write a budget that grew the economy, strengthened national security, and started curbing America’s debt addiction, all in the name of ensuring a prosperous future for the next generation, and the generations to follow.
Instead, this proposed budget contains a litany of liberal talking points, a number of which are downright hostile to American businesses.
The pharmaceutical industry, so often a target of this administration, is once more in the crosshairs. Assessments show that there is over $126 billion in threats to the pharmaceutical industry in this year’s budget and drug manufacturers stand to bear a large brunt of the creative cost shifting.
The harmful proposals include a sweeping plan to restructure Medicare Part D, the wildly successful program that provides prescription drug coverage. Making radical changes to one of the most successful and popular federal programs will destabilize a critical lifeline to millions of Americans. Additionally, the President’s continued support for Medicare Part D rebates will lead to increases in premiums that will make our most affordable healthcare coverage completely unaffordable for many.