Economic Snapshot | Budget, Taxes, and Public Investment

Proposed NSD spending levels dangerously low

Policy Memo #187

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An apples-to-apples comparison of the major budget proposals from President Obama, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and the U.S. House of Representatives shows that each plan proposes substantial cuts to the non-security discretionary (NSD) budget, decreasing it by 2021 to levels not seen since before 1962.

The NSD budget funds the public investments in infrastructure, education, and technological and scientific research necessary to keep our nation economically strong and globally competitive. It also protects against corporate abuses, environmental destruction, and provides vital services to children and the impoverished.

The proposals by Obama, the Bowles-Simpson commission, and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan will all cut the NSD budget to unprecedented low levels that would likely result in severe cuts to public investments—thus jeopardizing the president’s goal to “win the future”—or a near elimination of every other part of the NSD budget, including, ironically, Congress itself.

NSD Spending