On Tuesday, President Obama submitted his budget for 2017 to Congress. You probably shouldn't bother committing it to memory.
The spending plan, the final one of Obama's administration, was pretty much declared dead on arrival. House Republicans also added an extra snub by not inviting the president's budget director, Shaun Donovan, to speak about the proposal, which reportedly would create outlays of $4 trillion, and increase the deficit by nearly $200 billion to $616 billion.
That break with tradition highlights the antipathy that the Republican-led Congress feels toward the president's fiscal plan, which would go into effect on October 1.
"It appears the President's final budget will continue to focus on new spending proposals instead of confronting our government's massive overspending and debt," Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R, WY) said in a statement.
But despite his lame-duck status, Obama is likely to keep fighting for his proposals, many of which are aimed at helping small business owners. Here are some things you might get, and some that it now appears you almost certainly won't.
What you might get:
1. Infrastructure Improvements:
The budget would provide $32 billion over 10 years to improve the nation's aging infrastructure, including improved public transportation and upgrades to highways, ports, and railways. There has been some bipartisan support for infrastructure improvements, including most recently an eleventh-hour deal authorizing billions of dollars of funding for the federal Highway Trust Fund in December of 2015.
2. Lower corporate taxes
The president's budget suggests corporate taxes could be brought down to 28 percent for most businesses, and 25 percent for manufacturers, from their current top rate of 35 percent. That would be done in part by closing loopholes that encourage U.S. business to incorporate overseas through inversions, or to stash earnings overseas to avoid taxation. While the two parties disagree on many of the specifics, there is likely to be movement toward tax reform in 2017.
3. More trained workers
The budget would allocate $2.5 billion to create partnerships between local businesses and community colleges involved in vocational training. Businesses that invest in the schools' equipment and program resources would qualify for a $5,000 tax credit after investing and hiring students. It's possible there might be bipartisan support on this item, particularly because it comes in the form of tax cut for businesses.
What you won't get:
1. Assistance with retirement savings plans
The president has proposed making it easier for small businesses with 100 or fewer employees to create retirement savings plans and to automatically enroll workers in such plans, in part by offering tax savings between $4,500 and $6,000 for signing up workers. A similar proposal surfaced in previous budgets, but it was excised.
2. Paid Family and Medical Leave
The budget pushes to expand family and medical leave provisions, including through grants worth $2 billion for states that want to initiate paid leave programs. Republicans have put forward their own alternatives, which don't include compensation, but rather allow workers to use overtime hours earned toward family leave.
3. Unemployment and wage insurance
The budget would strengthen the current unemployment insurance program by raising $15 billion in additional premium revenue. It would also initiate a wage insurance program, which would provide workers who are laid off and rehired at lower wages supplemental income as they re-enter the workforce and retrain.