Seizing the Future: Budget battle in Washington; Obama: “Live within our means”…by spending into oblivion
Oh, no. It’s another White House White Board (click here for Austan Goolsbee’s turn last week).
Here, OMB Director Jack Lew tells you how spending into oblivion “while still investing in the future” = fiscal responsibility.
With Obama math, anything’s possible:
Takeaway sentence from ABC News’s description of the Obama budget unveiled today:
“Austerity” my you-know-what.
Lefties are huffing and puffing at what little the White House has proposed to cut:
Obama’s new budget puts forward a plan to achieve $1.1 trillion in deficit reductions over the next decade, according to an administration official who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity in advance of the formal release of the budget.
Those cuts — roughly $100 billion each year — include squeezing social programs. A deal struck to extend the Bush tax cuts for just two years, meanwhile, increased the deficit by $858 billion dollars. More than $500 billion of that bargain constituted tax cuts, with billions more funding business tax breaks and a reduction in the estate tax. Roughly $56 billion went to reauthorize emergency unemployment benefits.
The president’s budget was expected to mostly target “non-defense discretionary spending,” which makes up less than one-quarter of the overall budget, making balancing the budget with such cuts mathematically impossible…
Flashback: Microscopic cuts depicted in Doug Ross’s Chart of the Day last week.
OMB director Jack Lew is complaining of “ a lot of pain” — more political, of course, than fiscal:
“What I would tell you about this budget is it has a lot of pain…it does the job, it cuts the deficit in half by the end of the president’s first term, it has $400 billion of savings which would bring spending on domestic discretionary spending down to the level it was at in the Eisenhower administration and we have made tough choices,” he said on “GMA.”
Interestingly, Lew took a pass on criticizing the $61 billion in budget cuts House Republicans are hoping to pass this year – even though I asked him twice. Because the White House knows they will almost certainly have to accept many of those cuts to avoid a government shutdown later this year. The first test could come when current government funding runs out on March 4.
On the third rail of massive entitlements, Obama says “You go first” to the GOP. Leadership:
The budget wouldn’t do much, though, to arrest a future spike in the projected costs of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Mr. Obama has said he’s open to making changes in these programs, but he wants cooperation from Republicans before he will begin.
Speaker Boehner is ready for battle: Obama’s budget will “Destroy Jobs By Spending Too Much, Borrowing Too Much, and Taxing Too Much.”
He dubbed the White House plan “Spending the Future.”
Seizing the Future, actually…
As the progs hammer away at the cost of the “Bush tax cuts,” GOP leaders still need to forcefully challenge the redistributor-in-chief’s idea that allowing taxpayers to keep money that is theirs to begin with is a government “spend.”
Update 10:30am: From Obama’s remarks this morning, he asserted it is “absolutely essential that we live within our means.”
But the budget egg he laid today sabotages that very principle.
On a depressing fair and balanced note: GOP fails on entitlements, too.
Update 9 p.m. (DP): Big suprise — Zero cuts to NPR funding:
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Despite calls from conservatives and a bipartisan committee to cut federal funding of Corporation for Public Broadcasting, President Obama’s 2012 budget — released Monday — preserves the money that supports it.
Obama’s proposal includes $445 million in general programming grants for CPB in 2012, 2013 and 2014 — up from $430 million in 2011.
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