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Web preview: Federal budget cuts have local effect for OSU students

Cody Cousino / Lantern photographer

The federal budget debate is making waves in Washington, but Ohio State students will feel the ripples.

President Barack Obama’s budget proposal calls for cuts in entitlement, defense and discretionary spending along with the elimination of tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and tax loopholes for corporations.

“He insists that while we are living in our means there are a number of things that are too important to cut and must be protected,” said White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Austan Goolsbee in a conference call Thursday.

Those areas include education. The president’s budget would keep the maximum Pell Grant award at current levels, but it would eliminate awards for summer courses and eliminate loan subsidies for graduate students.

Goolsbee said Congressional Republicans hope to make deeper cuts to the Pell Grant program as well as repeal the president’s health care reform bill, which allows students to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26.

“The magnitude of the cuts (by Republicans) to discretionary spending are such that they will include significant direct cutting to education spending across the board,” Goolsbee said.

Obama’s proposal enjoys general support among Democrats, but Laura Smales, a Democrat and third-year in social work, said she feels the budget doesn’t do enough to protect social programs.

“He’s trying to be too moderate to secure his place in the 2012 elections,” Smales said. “He needs to embrace his liberalism.”

Still, others feel the president’s budget goes too far by eliminating tax cuts.

“Part of the basic American freedom is let people have their money,” said Darius Hardwick, 31, of Columbus, who was visiting the OSU campus on Thursday. “We don’t want bigger government.”

Goolsbee said the issue is living within our means and the solution is fiscal responsibility.

“We have laid out a fiscally responsible plan,” Goolsbee said.

Read Monday’s edition of The Lantern for more of this story.

 

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