Daily Video

February 2, 2010

Obama’s New Budget Raises Eyebrows

President Obama proposed a record $3.8 trillion budget this week, which would increase spending for education and increase taxes on the wealthy but would also raise the budget deficit (the gap between what the government has and what it spends) to more than 10 percent of the U.S. economy.

The projected deficit – $1.6 trillion – would be the highest since the end of World War II.

The proposed budget would boost federal money for education, doubling the college financial aid Pell Grant program and adding $3 billion to fund elementary and secondary education.

Republicans in Congress, however, objected to the dramatic increase in the national deficit.

NewsHour correspondent Gwen Ifill reports the story in the first 3 minutes of this video.

Quotes

“We simply cannot continue to spend as if deficits don’t have consequences, as if waste doesn’t matter, as if the hard-earned tax dollars of the American people can be treated like Monopoly money.” – President Barack Obama

“Achieving our objectives in Afghanistan and Iraq has moved to the top of the institutional military’s budgeting, policy and program priorities. We now recognize that America’s ability to deal with threats for years to come will depend importantly on our success in the current conflicts.” – Defense Secretary Robert Gates

“The administration has been touting a spending freeze worth about $250 billion over a decade to help allay concerns about spending and debt. But it doesn’t start, for one thing, until next October. And, therefore, to me it’s a little bit like the alcoholic that says, well, I’m going to quit drinking right after I have my next drink.” – Senator Jon Kyl, R-Arizona

Warm Up Questions

1. What happens when a person wants to spend more money than he or she has?

2. What happens when a government wants to spend more money than it has?

3. Who decides how the U.S. government spends its money?

Discussion Questions

1. One of the arguments against such a large deficit is that future generations of Americans will have to work on paying it off. Do you think this is a fair argument? Why or why not?

2. Do you think that the recession has made government spending more important to you and your family? Why or why not?

3. What is the single most important thing to you in the federal budget? What is the least important? Why?

Additional Resources

Read the transcript of this report

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