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February 26, 2009

Obama Budget Outlined, Universal Health Care coming

HEALTH/POLITICS - Today U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled a multi-trillion-dollar spending plan that would boost taxes on the wealthy, curtail Medicare and lay the groundwork for universal health care.

In addition to sending Congress his $3.55 trillion budget plan for 2010, Obama proposed more immediate changes that would push spending to $3.94 trillion (all figures USD) in 2009. That would result in a record budget deficit Obama projects will hit $1.75 trillion, reflecting the massive spending being undertaken to battle a severe American recession and the worst financial crisis in the United States since the Great Depression.

Obama, in a morning briefing, spoke of "hard choices that lie ahead." He called his budget "an honest accounting of where we are and where we intend to go."

The plan balances Obama's campaign pledges to deliver tax cuts to the middle class, expand health care coverage and combat the economic crisis with an effort to avoid a soaring deficit by increasing taxes on the wealthy (who frankly can afford a tax increase when you consider all the tax cuts George W. Bush gave them during his 8 years as president).

The $634 billion down payment on expanding health care coverage would come from a $318 billion increase over 10 years in income taxes on the wealthy, defined as couples making more than $250,000 per year and individuals making more than $200,000. The tax increase would occur by reducing the benefit the wealthy get on tax deductions for charities. Normally for every $1 given to charity the wealthy gets 35 cents back the government, now that amount drops to 28 cents.

The other half of the money for expanding health care will come from scrapping Medicare and drug payments under Medicaid, and replace it with UNIVERSAL FREE HEALTH CARE. 48 million Americans currently don't have access to health care and this plan will insure everyone has health care.

In one move, Barack Obama has taken the United States back 40 years, back when the USA had free health care and before greedy health insurance companies started refusing patients health care.

The United States is the only western country that does not currently have free health care. Canada, Britain, France, all of Europe, South America, Mexico and heck, even Cuba, has free health care. Its about time the USA joined the rest of the civilized world.

See Also:
Greedy Obsolete Doctors
How America Aids and Abets AIDS/HIV Worldwide
American Obesity Rates

TAX CUTS FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS

To meet his pledge of tax cuts for the middle class, Obama wants to make permanent the $400 annual tax cut due to start showing up in workers' paycheques in April as part of the $787 billion stimulus package just passed by Congress. Obama's budget also extends the middle class tax cuts passed by the Bush administration in 2001 and 2003. Those cuts were due to expire at the end of 2010.

IRAQ & AFGHANISTAN

Obama also asked for an additional $75 billion to cover the costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2009 and another $130 billion for 2010 and will cut back on wasteful expenditures and focus on finally rooting out the Taliban/Al-Qaeda in southern Afghanistan.

CARBON EMISSION CAPS

Obama's plan also contains a proposal to raise hundreds of billions of dollars by auctioning off permits to exceed carbon emissions caps, which Obama wants to impose on users of fossil fuels to address global warming.

Some of the permits revenues will be used for a "Making Work Pay" tax credit of $400 for individuals and $800 for couples beyond 2010, which will help to cushion lower-income Americans from the higher electricity bills they will face because of the stiffer pollution controls.

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