A journalism article about the national budget, featured in "The Mount" newspaper.
| A new year, a new budget, and what does it all means? Despite what you think, the new $3.8 trillion national spending budget affects you. It also affects your parents and their jobs, your family’s house, and the taxes we all pay. Let’s take a look.
President Obama’s new budget hurts large corporations and big businesses, landing them an estimated $1.9 trillion in tax increases. The large tax increases on wealthy Americans and large companies are part of Obama’s plan to provide tax benefits to middle-class families. Married couples who earn more than $250,000 per year will not only face expired tax cuts, but also a possible five percent increase in per capital gains tax rates. Basically, tax rates for those with a lot of capital, or wealth, will rise significantly. For some at Mount Michael, such tax increases will hit close to home. As many students have parents who fall into the category of the wealthy, their families will be paying more than ever before.
Constellation, NASA’s moon program, will be eliminated. Some of the nation’s largest financial institutions, such as oil companies and banks, will also take a hit due to the elimination of nearly $40 billion in tax cuts. However, all these tax hikes and benefit cuts serve a purpose, but who exactly do they help?
Obama’s new national budget will affect many students at the Mount, as the plan boosts benefits for small businesses and low or middle-income families. The Making Work Pay and American Opportunity tax credits will both be continued, helping families maintain more of their income. Accordingly, families will receive a tax credit worth up to $800 to help offset Social Security tax rates. Approximately 95 percent of American families qualify for this benefit. Additional tax breaks will also be provided for those families with students attending college.
Also, space commercialization by private companies will also be included in the new budget, funded by $6 billion over the next five years. The money will be used to help America diversify its space program, instead of purely relying on NASA. The money spent by these companies could be another method to kick-starting the economy.
Obama also mentioned his plans to aid small businesses in his State of the Union speech, hoping to keep it “a priority”. Small businesses will benefit greatly from more available loans from community banks and an increased budget for the Small Business Administration. Additionally, tax benefits for businesses who hire new workers will be set in place. Many Mount Michael parents who own businesses will begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel as a result of the new budget.
The new budget affects every person in our nation as it attempts to solve our struggling economy. Now you know how it affects you, whether for better or worse.