Opportunity for All: The President’s FY2015 Budget Fact Sheet

The White House released a Fact Sheet on the President’s budget for fiscal year 2015, Opportunity for All: Building a 21st Century Infrastructure, which is a summary of the “roadmap for accelerating economic growth, expanding opportunity for all Americans, and ensuring fiscal responsibility.” The president plans to lean on bipartisan progress to invest in “infrastructure, job training, preschool, and pro-work tax cuts, while reducing deficits through health, tax, and immigration reform.” View the White House Press Release on the budget Fact Sheet here.

Expanding on the infrastructure pillar, the budget provides allotments for advanced manufacturing, research and innovation, an ambitious surface transportation reauthorization proposal, and support for governments that deliver efficient services that promote economic growth. In order to emphasize “opportunity” as a quantifiable resource, the president proposes tax cuts for working Americans, high-quality preschool programs for four-year-old children, and workforce innovation and training to bolster necessary skills. An offset to the spending programs, the budget also emphasizes fiscal responsibility in healthcare, tax reform, immigration reform, and debt reduction.

In evaluating results of the goals set forth in the budget Fact Sheet, Americans should expect to see business tax codes simplified, transportation innovation and planning reformed through investments from private capital, and safer and more efficient air transportation through the Federal Aviation Administration’s “NextGen” initiative. Recreation will also get a boost from the budget in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016, anticipating restored park infrastructure from Acadia to Zion.

Beyond Shovel-Ready: The Extent and Impact of U.S. Infrastructure Jobs by Joseph Kane and Robert Puentes of the Brookings Institution provides data-driven analysis of the definition of infrastructure that lends to projecting the impact of the President’s infrastructure-centric budget on job creation and economic growth. The report suggests that while budgetary emphasis on creating jobs through infrastructure can have “multiplier effects” on the overall economy, policymakers may not have considered the wide range of infrastructure jobs currently in existence in the United States. “Attempts to measure infrastructure employment are complicated by the ever-expanding and evolving definition of infrastructure itself.” The report represents a worthwhile step in understanding the potential employment that will be generated by the 2015 budget.

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