Obama announces almost $4 trillion budget

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President Barack Obama delivers remarks on his fiscal 2011 budget proposals, February 1, 2010 at the White House in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT

President Barack Obama presented Congress with a $3.83 trillion budget on Feb. 1 to help battle unemployment, increase taxes on the wealthy and halt spending for many government programs.

The new budget states that $100 billion would be spent on tax reliefs for businesses. Since businesses will be saving money, theoretically, they would be able to afford to hire more employees.

Also under this plan, Obama would be letting one of the Bush administration’s controversial decisions – to cut taxes for the wealthy – expire by the end of this year. The wealthy class, earning over $250,000 a year, will pay higher taxes than the middle and lower classes.

Additionally, the plan places a three-year spending freeze on many government programs. Social Security, Medicare, Homeland Security, the military and its veterans, would be unaffected, however, programs such as NASA would be. According to the Washington Post, the freeze would kill the NASA program “Constellation,” which the government has already invested $9 billion in, and would return astronauts to the moon. NASA would receive $5.9 billion over five years to help promote private companies build and operate their own spacecrafts for NASA.

This proposal would also increase the national deficit to a new all-time high of $1.56 trillion, skyrocketing over last year’s $1.41 trillion.

Cal State Fullerton will be impacted very little, if at all.

“I don’t think it will even happen,” said John Erickson, chairman of the finance department.

“It’s possible that we could make more classrooms available if the state can get more federal money for education,” said Erickson.

Skeptical of Obama’s projected budget, Erickson elaborated that even if CSUF was to receive some funding, it would have a minimal impact.

Erickson does believe that something has to be done. However, spending more money on health care, he said, may not be the best way. Our national deficit is already too large and inflation will only increase interest rates, costing everyone more money, he said.

“It’s all dependent on how much California would get,” said Greg Washington, 19, a junior majoring in political science and the chief governmental officer for ASI and chairman for Lobby Corps. “There is a possibility it might go to higher education, however it is more likely to go to K-12 and other social services.”

In accordance with Erickson, he said even if we did get some funding, the impact would be minimal.

One student who was also unconvinced of Obama’s new plan was Jorge Lonaso, 33, a senior majoring in business.

“He should decrease taxes for everyone so we have more money to invest,” said Lonaso.

“Taxes will trickle down to the consumer,” said Lonaso, a firm believer that we can handle our money better than the government can.

The government would also be asking the largest banks to pay back around $90 billion for the government’s financial rescue fund. Since banks are included in the tax increase, some fear they will make consumers pay for it by raising their fees.

Not everyone disagreed with the plan.

“In my opinion, he doesn’t have a choice,” said Jan Martens, 20, a sophomore majoring in business information management. “The economy is crashing and he has to do something.”

While on-campus opinions vary, one common consensus seems clear – creating jobs is a priority.

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