President Obama sends $3.83T 2011 budget to Hill: Massive deficits, funding for job, taxes on richBY KENNETH R. BAZINET AND MICHAEL MCAULIFF
February 2, 1010
WASHINGTON - President Obama unveiled a $3.83 trillion budget plan on Monday that aims to tighten purse strings - but still serves up pretty good payouts to New York.
Foreseeing three years of deficits topping a trillion dollars, the administration plans to keep extra cash flowing while the recession lingers, then clamp down.
A big part of the local spending will come in the form of extra Medicaid cash - some $3 billion for New York State and up to $600 million for the city.
"That's the mother lode," said Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn, Queens), who hailed the blueprint as among the best for cities in a generation.
"It's clear we have the first urban President since John F. Kennedy," Weiner said.
Other pluses for New York include funding to hire a couple hundred new cops, and a hefty infusion for transit.
Obama's spending plan requests $197 million for the Second Ave. subway and $215million for the East Side access project bringing the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central.
There are downsides. While the budget doubles funding to treat ill 9/11 responders to $150million next year, it fails to embrace a bill that would grant mandatory payouts for 30 years.
"The doubling of funding only proves the point," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens). "The health needs of responders should not be subject to the whims of who is in power in Washington."
The budget also proposes slashing cash for the anti-nuke detection system the city has been building around Manhattan.
"It's totally indefensible," said Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.), who two weeks ago got $20 million passed in the House to fund detectors that sniff out radiological weapons.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) vowed he'd "fight tooth and nail to see that the funding is restored" in the Senate as well.
Legislators are still evaluating the impact of education proposals, but they could be a mixed bag. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-Bronx) noted there is $3.6 billion to develop better teachers and classrooms, and a Pell grant boost worth about $2.2 billion to some 526,000 New York students.
Weiner warned, though, that a new competitive grant process for doling out cash under the NoChild Left Behind program could hurt. "It goes away from a formula that has been pretty goodto us," he said.
In spite of piling $8 trillion more on the debt over 10 years, Obama characterized the plan as tough love and tough cuts.
"I'm willing to reduce waste in programs I care about, and I'm asking members of Congress to do the same," he said.
Government watchdogs had major bones to pick with the numbers, suggesting they are too rosy and deficits will be worse.
"Many of the tax increases and spending cuts will never survive Congress," said Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense.
"Even after the economy regains its footing we are looking at very high deficits," he said.
Republicans cast Obama as out of touch.