News Release

Obama’s 2013 Budget: Beyond the Partisanship


2013 Obama Budget - Graphic courtesy Wall Street Journal, CBO, OMBDAPHNE WYSHAM, daphne at
Wysham is the co-director or the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network project at the Institute for Policy Studies. She said today: “The good news in Obama’s 2013 budget is that he proposes ambitious initiatives on public transit, clean vehicles, energy efficiency, and renewable energy issues, and has proposed to eliminate $4 billion in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. The bad news is that he doesn’t go far enough on all fronts to ensure that the dirty energy industries of the past — including offshore oil and gas drilling, nuclear power and coal — are taken off the dole and made to clean up their messes, thereby allowing truly clean energy to compete on a level playing field.”

KAREN DOLAN, karen at
Dolan is director of the Cities for Progress Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. She said today: “On the domestic side, the President’s budget has some good proposals for investments and some progressive revenue-raisers. It works well as a populist campaign document and is important as such. However, some programs for low-income families would suffer further unnecessary cuts and the President proposes, over 10 years, to reduce non-security discretionary spending from its current 3.1 percent of GDP to a 50-year low of 1.7 percent. We have to do better.”

Alvarez, a senior scholar of nuclear policy at the Institute for Policy Studies, said today: “President Obama’s proposed budget for the Environmental Protection Agency of $8.3 billion, while reduced from the previous year by $105 million, also reflects some important increases to states and Indian tribes to better enforce the Clean Air and Clear Water Acts. About 60 percent of the Department of Energy’s budget is going mostly for nuclear weapons and the cleanup of nuclear weapons sites. The single largest expenditure in DOE is for nuclear weapons, which commands 27 percent of DOE’s entire budget.”

Pemberton, a research fellow with Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, said today: “The preventive medicine in our security budget — including diplomacy, peacekeeping, economic development, climate stabilization — has been shortchanged for years as military spending has surged. Though the President has talked about investing more in prevention, his budget fails to do so. It leaves the extreme imbalance between military and non-military spending virtually unchanged through 2016.”