Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Ten Things to Look for in the President's Budget

Apr 8, 2013 | Budgets & Projections

It's President's Budget week! On Wednesday, President Obama will release his FY 2014 budget, illustrating another possible path in addition to the already-passed House and Senate budget resolutions.

The President's budget includes estimates by OMB and more detailed recommendations than those proposed by the budget committees in Congress, making it a useful reference in the fiscal debate. A few details of the budget have already been announced and based on reporting so far, President Obama's budget will incorporate many of the provisions in the White House's last fiscal cliff offer and some priorities from his State of the Union address. While we wait for the final budget, we have released a list of Ten Things to Look for in the President’s Budget, outlining ten principles of a responsible budget proposal.

Ideally, the President's budget will:

  1. Put the debt on a clear downward path relative to the economy.
  2. Include serious health care reforms.
  3. Include comprehensive Social Security reform.
  4. Include pro-growth tax reform.
  5. Put other areas of the budget on the table for discussion.
  6. Focus on the long term.
  7. Not ignore expected costs or offset costs with unspecified savings.
  8. Avoid budget gimmicks to inflate savings numbers.
  9. Build upon, don’t water down, previous proposals.
  10. Demonstrate willingness to compromise on a bipartisan basis.

President Obama's last budget stabilized debt at the end of the ten-year window, but still fell short of putting debt on a sustainable path in the long-term. Just as we did last year, we will break down the details of the budget on the Bottom Line later this week.

While the Senate and House have already passed their respective budget resolutions, this budget could be useful for finding ways to bridge priorities between Democrats and Republicans in Congress and lay the groundwork for a compromise. Hopefully, the President's budget will move the conversation forward.

Click here to read the full release.