President Obama‘s agenda spelled out in his well-received State of the Union address would boost spending an additional $20 billion and lead to higher taxes, according to a line-by-line analysis from the National Taxpayers Union Foundation. According to a line-by-line analysis of his State of the Union speech by the non-partisan National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF), all the quantifiable items in President Obama‘s speech taken together would increase federal spending by more than $20 billion, but the large number of items whose impact is unclear could dramatically affect this total.
President Obama outlined items whose enactment would increase federal expenditures by a net of $21.349 billion per year, compared to the $70.46 billion in higher annualized costs to taxpayers that he called for in his 2010 State of the Union speech. The single largest item Obama mentioned was increased “investment” in transportation infrastructure, which according to available sources could amount to $50 billion in additional outlays. Other large initiatives included $1.35 billion in possible higher spending for the “Race to the Top” educational program. However, the most important fiscal policy aspects in Obama’s speech are the number of blanks the President left behind for taxpayers. For example, his highly generalized call to “merge, consolidate, and reorganize the federal government” holds potential for large reductions in expenditures, but this is by no means guaranteed. Proponents for a Department of Homeland Security argued that consolidating programs under such an agency could help streamline bureaucracy, but there is little evidence of substantial savings to taxpayers from this venture. NTUF matched Obama’s proposals with those in the BillTally system in White House documents and other third-party sources.