Updated: 7:18 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, 2013 | Posted: 6:40 a.m. Wednesday, April 10, 2013
By Jessica Wehrman and Barrie Barber
Washington Bureau and Staff Writer
Budget winners and losers
- Preschool kids. Obama’s budget calls for $77 billion to make free, public pre-school available to 4-year-olds across the nation over the next 10 years.
- Minimum-wage workers: Obama’s proposal would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 per hour. However, that raise is lower than the $9.50 per hour Obama promised in his 2008 campaign.
- Construction workers: Obama’s proposal would beef up spending on the nation’s infrastructure, including roads and bridges by about $50 billion.
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Energy. All three departments saw their budgets increased by at least 8 percent over 2012 levels – a rarety during an era when many are calling for austerity.
- Smokers. The president’s budget would raise the federal cigarette tax from $1.01 to $1.95 per pack.
- Millionaires. As he has in the past, Obama calls for millionaires to pay no less than 30 percent of income – after charitable contributions – in taxes He also proposes again to limit the value of itemized deductions and exclusions for wealthier households.
- Graduate students at children’s hospitals. Obama once again calls for the slicing of the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education Payment Program, a perennial target that children’s hospitals including Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Dayton Children’s Hospital have fought.
- Energy assistance for the poor: The President’s budget would slash nearly all of the money being spent for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps the poor pay for their heating.
- Environmental Protection Agency. The administration would decrease the overall budget of the Environmental Protection Agency by 3.5 percent over current levels. State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Small Business Administration and Defense also were among agencies that saw decreases from 2012 spending levels.
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