Obama Seeks Big Budget Increases For SEC, CFTC

Apr 11 2013 | 12:12pm ET

Having given the Securities and Exchange Commission the authority to dig deeper into the hedge fund and private equity industries, President Barack Obama wants to give them the ability to do so.

Obama's proposed fiscal year 2014 budget, sent to Congress yesterday, would increase the SEC's funding by 27%, to $1.674 billion. The increase would allow the regulator to hire some 250 examiners to help in deal with the roughly 11,000 investment advisers now required to register with the agency. The increase would also allow the SEC to hire more industry experts to assist in probes.

The president also called for a 50% hike in funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to $315 million, which would be paid for by charging fees to firms the agency regulates. The move "would bring the CFTC into line with nearly all other federal financial regulators, which are funding in whole or in part through user fees," the administration said.

That proposal isn't likely to go far with Congressional Republicans: Obama has proposed it three times previously to no avail; indeed, even former President George W. Bush pushed for it without success.

More means for regulators aren't the only part of Obama's $3.78 trillion budget that would impact hedge and private equity fund managers. The proposal would seek in raise more than $600 billion in new revenue, primarily by paring deductions taken by the highest-earning 3% of taxpayers.

Deductions for mortgage interest and charitable contributions would be capped at 28% under the proposal. And millionaires would face a minimum 30% tax rate.

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