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Posted at 12:21 PM ET, 02/13/2012

Obama proposes raising Treasury budget to $14 billion


(Andrew Harrer - Bloomberg)
The Obama administration proposed Monday increasing the Treasury Department’s budget to $14 billion, an increase of nearly 7 percent over its 2012 budget, with new funding directed toward enforcing the nation’s tax laws.

The Internal Revenue Service accounts for the vast majority of the Treasury Department’s budget. The IRS would receive $12.8 billion in 2013 under Obama’s plan, compared to $11.9 billion 2012. The administration says the additional resources would go to intensify enforcement of the tax code, which it claims can return $5 for every dollar spent.

Aside from the boost at the IRS, the Treasury’s overall budget would decrease by 2.7 percent compared to its 2012 level.

The budget document also calls for a $61 billion fee on the largest financial firms — with the goals of recompensing the government for its actions during the financial crisis and discouraging excessive risk-taking. A portion of this funding would go to cover the cost of the president’s proposal to help Americans refinance their mortgages.

Another measure in the proposed budget would seek to find $75 million in savings by changing the production of nickels and pennies. According to the administration, a penny costs 2.4 cents to make and a nickel costs 11.2 cents. Last year the treasury stopped production of presidential $1 coins.

The proposal says that the Troubled Assets Relief Program — the 2008 initiative used to rescue the financial system — is likely to cost $68 billion in total, lower than the $341 billion originally estimated.

By Zachary Goldfarb  |  12:21 PM ET, 02/13/2012

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