The 8 Head Smacker Budget


March 18, 2015

headsmacker_sqYesterday, the House Budget Committee released its FY 2016 budget proposal. There were just too many Head Smackers in it to narrow it down to one, so CHN’s Deborah Weinstein came up with eight. Below are slides that she put together highlighting the most Head Smacking parts of it.
We’ll have much more information on it and other budget blueprints being released this week (by the Senate Budget Committee, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, House Budget Committee Democrats, and the Congressional Black Caucus) in an upcoming Human Needs Report. Stay tuned for that, and check out our FY 2016 Budget Resource page for even more.

CHN’s SAVE for All Campaign has four main principles: protect low-income and vulnerable people; invest in broadly shared economic growth; increase revenues from fair sources, and seek savings by targeting waste in the Pentagon and elsewhere.


How does the budget introduced by House Budget Committee Chair Tom Price (R-GA) measure up to these principles? Unfortunately, it does just the opposite:

Here are our top 8 Head Smackers from the Price House budget:

And the only way it really ‘balances’ the budget is by using a tactic known as “dynamic scoring,” a highly uncertain and controversial way of estimating the impacts of a budget.

The Pentagon’s Overseas Contingency Operations account (OCO) isn’t subject to spending caps and is supposed to fund war-related activities. However, OCO has been used by the Pentagon to cover non-war-related items, effectively avoiding much of the impact of sequestration cuts.

Yet again, the House is pushing to repeal Obamacare, including Medicaid expansion, stripping away health coverage from millions.

The House Budget Committee leadership doesn’t like the term “block grant,” so they instead say “State Flexibility Funds.” But let’s be honest, it’s really just a block grant.

They also don’t like the word “vouchers”, but that’s really what they mean when they say “premium support program”.

SNAP/food stamps would be cut drastically. Other programs would too, but aren’t specified.

Human needs programs would most definitely feel the painful effects of these cuts.

Millionaires, billionaires, and corporations would receive tax cuts, while low-income people would see improvements to two critical tax credits, the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, expire. Taxes would go up on working low-income families.

And here’s a very helpful chart from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

We’re sure there are many more Head Smackers to come as we delve deeper and look at the Senate Budget Committee budget out today. Stay tuned to our upcoming Human Needs Report  and check out our FY 2016 Budget Resource page for even more.

Budget and Appropriations
FY 2016 budget
Head Smacker