Press Releases | Budget, Taxes, and Public Investment

News from EPI Major budget proposals pit public investment against vital services

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Contact: Phoebe Silag or Karen Conner, 202-775-8810 

Major budget proposals pit public investment against vital services

An apples-to-apples comparison of the major budget proposals from the Obama administration, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (the debt commission) and the U.S. House of Representatives shows that each plan would make substantial cuts to the non-security discretionary (NSD) budget, cutting it by 2021 to levels not seen since before 1962, according to a report released today by the Economic Policy Institute.  The budget cuts would likely result in either severe cuts to public investments or a near elimination of every other part of the NSD budget. 

Funding public investment is critical to long-run economic growth and global competitiveness, explains EPI senior policy analyst Ethan Pollack in Major budget proposals pit public investment against vital services, yet maintaining current public investment levels under the major budget proposals would result in at least a 70% reduction to the rest of the NSD budget.

“The drastic cuts we see in these proposals will result in crumbling roads and bridges, a second-class education system, lax consumer protections and a government that can’t function,” predicts Pollack.

The NSD budget represents only 15% of the total budget, and public investments make up over half of it.  The NSD budget also funds federal law enforcement, food assistance, consumer and environmental protection, financial regulation, housing assistance, and general governmental operations.

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