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Monday, February 18 , 2019, 5:26 am | Fair 43º


Rep. Lois Capps: Obama’s 2010 Budget Is Honest and Forward-Thinking

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, on Thursday released a statement in support of President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2010 Budget:

“This budget is a reflection of several basic realities. First, President Obama has inherited an economy in crisis and federal budget way out of whack. We see every day on the South and Central Coast that our economy is in very rough shape. Yet, our country has an enormous number of problems confronting us in health care, energy and education, and a host of other issues. This budget clearly shows that the Obama administration is dedicated to approaching these challenges honestly and aggressively. As the president has said, our economic recovery won’t happen overnight, but we will rebuild and emerge stronger. This budget is the next important step in a recovery process we started with the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“The president is to be commended for putting out a budget that finally acknowledges the costs that previous administrations hid with accounting tricks, like the two wars our brave troops are fighting. He is identifying hundreds of billions of dollars to be cut from redundant and unworkable problems. And he is pledging to cut the deficit — most of which he has inherited — in half by the end of his first term.

“But as we work to restore some much-needed fiscal responsibility, this budget nonetheless recognizes that the current economic crisis and our long-term economic needs require targeted investments in key areas like reforming health care, transitioning to a clean energy future, and ensuring all our kids have a quality education. For example:

Education and Innovation

» Makes a new investment in early childhood education by doubling funding for the Early Head Start program, expanding Head Start, and beginning a major new effort to ramp up the Nurse-Home Visitation program.

» Makes the $2,500 American Opportunity Tax Credit permanent to help students afford college in these challenging economic times.

» Triples the number of graduate fellowships in science, to help spur the next generation of home-grown scientific innovation.

» More than $16 billion will be invested in scientific research and development to help businesses and research universities like UCSB and Cal Poly compete and succeed in a global economy.

» $3 billion for the National Science Foundation for basic research in fundamental science and engineering. Annually, UCSB, Cal Poly and other local research institutions receive millions of dollars in NSF grants.

» $1.6 billion for the Energy Department’s Office of Science, which funds research in such areas as climate science, biofuels, high-energy physics, nuclear physics and fusion energy sciences — areas crucial to both our energy future and the local South and Central Coast economy.

» $1 billion for NASA, including $400 million to put more scientists to work around the country doing climate change research.

Clean Energy

» Implements a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow global warming. The president has outlined a goal of generating revenue of $150 billion over 10 years through this program to develop clean energy technologies.

» Weatherizes low-income homes by upgrading furnaces, sealing leaky ducts and adding insulation, saving working families on average $350 per year.

» Modernizes the electric grid for the integration and use of greater amounts of renewable energy and increased utilization of innovative efficiency technologies.

» Helps state and local government reduce their energy use through energy efficiency and clean energy grants.

Health Care

» Transforms and modernizes the health-care system by setting aside a reserve fund of more than $630 billion to bring down costs and expand coverage.

» Saves money on Medicare by reducing wasteful Medicare overpayments to private insurers through competitive payments and improving Medicare and Medicaid payment accuracy.

» Reduces drug prices by accelerating access to more affordable generic versions of prescriptions. This will be done through the establishment of a workable regulatory, scientific and legal pathway for generic biologic drug versions.

» Saves lives and spurs innovation by doubling of funding for cancer research.

» Allows Americans to buy safe and effective drugs at lower prices from other countries.

» Provides $330 million for health professionals training so we can train the next generation of doctors, dentists and nurses.

» Requires medically accuracy and comprehensive information in teen pregnancy prevention programs.

Tax Cuts for Working Families and Small Businesses

» Makes permanent the $800 “Making Work Pay” tax cut for 95 percent of America’s working families while preserving all dedicated payroll taxes that go to Social Security and Medicare.

» Continues to cut taxes for the families of millions of children through an expansion and continuation of the Child Tax Credit.

» Makes the $2,500 American Opportunity Tax Credit permanent to help kids afford college.

» No tax increases for families making less than $250,000 a year while allowing tax rates to go back to Clinton administration-era levels for the wealthiest Americans.

» Helps small businesses and innovative companies grow and create new jobs by eliminating capital gains for individuals on the gain from the sale of certain small business stocks held for more than five years and by making the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit permanent.

Ensuring National Security and Supporting our Veterans

» Supports our troops by increasing the size of the Army and Marine Corps, increasing pay for men and women in uniform, and improving mental health care for soldiers and veterans — while saving money by reforming Defense Department acquisition. The amount exceeds what the Bush administration requested.

» Increases funding for Veterans Affairs by $25 billion over the next five years, expand concurrent receipt of military retired pay and Veterans Disability Compensation to retirees who were medically retired from service.

Transportation and Public Works

» Establishes a National Infrastructure Bank to help modernize and upgrade our nation’s critical infrastructure, including roads and bridges.

» Initiates a new federal commitment to high-speed rail, proposing a $1 billion a year high-speed rail state grant program.

» Invests in clean and safe drinking water with programs to fund more than 1,000 clean water and nearly 700 drinking water projects annually.

“I am under no illusions about how difficult it will be to restart our economy, meet our long-term challenges and bring back fiscal discipline,” Capps said. “But I am also certain that we can do it and this budget offers an effective framework in this effort.”

— Emily Kryder is communications director for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.

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