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Obama’s election-year budget – live coverage

President Barack Obama’s election year budget will be released this morning. The president is expected to make the case for stimulus as opposed to austerity, with tax increases on the wealthy and new spending on infrastructure projects. Follow live coverage here

10.58am: Obama’s on in two. Watch it on the White House website or right here:


At the moment we’ve got a load of people stood on a stage waiting for the president.

10.53am: My colleague Saarbira Chaudhuri has this rundown of what we can expect from the budget this morning:

Department of Defense
• The budget proposes 3 billion for the DoD – an increase of billion above the 2010 figure.
• This includes the provision of an additional .2 billion for National Nuclear Security Administration weapons activities between 2013 and 2016.
• It aims to save billion through 2016, among other things consolidating air-force centers and reducing army construction costs.

Education
• The budget provides .4 billion for the Department of Education, which preserves the recent increase in the maximum annual Pell Grant to ,550, 9 above the level in 2008. It eliminates the “year-round Pell Grant” which provides two grants in a single award year.
• Excluding Pell Grants, the Budget provides .8 billion, a significant increase that is nonetheless smaller than last year’s due to the fiscal environment.
• Provides .4 billion for new competitions, modeled on the Race to the Top.
• Earmarks 5 million to recruit, train and retain teachers.

Agriculture
• The President’s budget proposes .9 billion towards food, natural resources and agriculture. This is a decrease of .2 billion from the level enacted in 2010.
• A focus on green energy: invests .5 billion to support renewable and clean energy.

Transport
• Proposes 6 billion over six years to upgrade roads, bridges and expand high-speed rail, 60% more than the last plan enacted by Congress.
• Boosts funding by billion in the first year to create jobs in industries suffering from protracted unemployment.
• Provides billion over six years for high-speed passenger rail
• Invests billion in a National Infrastructure Bank to provide loans and grants for projects of regional and national significance, supporting economic competitiveness.

10.45am: President Barack Obama’s election year budget will be released this morning as the president seeks to make the case for increased stimulus as opposed to the spending cuts favoured by his Republican rivals.

Obama’s budget for the fiscal year 2013 is expected to call for new spending on roads and other infrastructure projects, as well as tax increases on the wealthy. The president will make the case for deferring major deficit cuts until the economy recovery is back on track.

Plans for the so-called “Buffett Rule” are expected to form part of the budget, under which millionaires would pay a minimum tax rate of 30 percent. Obama will also identify trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years, similar to the plan he laid out in September.

Reuters reported that the president will propose using half of the money from ending America’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan to subsidize investment in infrastructure.

This includes tax breaks for companies and individuals that would be worth more than 0 billion in 2012 if passed into law. That could provide additional fiscal stimulus for economic growth as Obama campaigns around the country for re-election.

One of the biggest boosts would come from extending a payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans for all of 2012, which expires on Feb. 29 unless Congress acts. The White House estimates this could add a percentage point to 2012 GDP.

Obama is visiting a school in Virginia at 11am where he is expected to make remarks on the budget, and the budget itself will be released at 11.15am. Follow here for live coverage, analysis and reaction.

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