In the first State of the Union address of his second term, President Obama largely avoided the critical budget challenges facing the nation. He failed to mention the federal government is
operating on a temporary budget or that the debt ceiling was merely suspended until May. He brieflymentioned across-the-board budget cuts – known as sequestration – that are scheduled for March 1, acknowledging that the effect of such cuts would be devastating. Nearly every federal program would be hit by sequestration, including Head Start. Thus, even as the president laid out an ambitious vision for universal pre-kindergarten, the looming cuts of sequestration would pull funding from a program that already fails to reach all children from impoverished households. The lack of solutions from Washington to continued crisis-based government leaves our nation vulnerable to major fiscal challenges ahead.
“This country is operating on a temporary budget and a temporary debt-ceiling suspension with indiscriminate budget cuts threatening critical investments ranging from education to food safety,” said Mattea Kramer, Research Director at National Priorities Project. “The State of the Union address failed to acknowledge how far we are from resolving our fiscal challenges in a manner worthy of our democracy – that this nation’s budget should reflect the voices and priorities of the people instead of political expedience.”
National Priorities Project (NPP) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization that makes complex federal budget information transparent and accessible so people can prioritize and influence how their tax dollars are spent. We hold the vision of an informed and engaged democracy where all people affected by federal spending priorities have the ability and opportunity to shape our nation's budget. Find out more at our website.