This year’s budget debate officially kicked off on Monday with President Obama’s release of his Fiscal Year 2013 (FY 2013) Budget. With a $1.3 trillion deficit projected for 2013, deficit reduction is sure to be a major theme again in the coming year. Obama’s proposal includes a number of cuts to reduce federal expenditures over the next decade, including $520 billion in savings from non-defense, discretionary programs, $487 billion from defense spending, $217 billion from mandatory programs, and $360 billion from health care entitlements including Medicaid.
Despite the difficult fiscal condition the federal government is in, Obama does propose increases for some important programs, notably child care and Head Start. The vast majority of child welfare programs are again flat-funded, meaning though they are not directly being cut, their funding is not keeping up with inflationary costs. Finally, the budget includes a number of additional legislative proposals CWLA supports. Among these are the $2.5 billion (over 10 years) incentive program for foster care that first appeared in the President’s budget last year, a proposal to make permanent the TANF Supplemental Grant program, and enhancements to the child support program.