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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Bo Cutter: President Obama’s Election Year Budget

While not the worst proposal, the budget serves as a political football and shirks the tough decisions staring us in the face.

President Obama’s recent budget is the “numbers” version of his State of the Union speech. It mirrors the speech almost exactly. Of course it is a political budget. What else could anyone possibly have expected? The intent is to emphasize a few key themes, give the president’s general election opponents no handle to grab on to, and to exit stage right as soon as possible. It will be successful in all of these respects.

But it is entirely a placeholder. It moves generally in a direction the vast center of the electorate will view as right — if they care. It has a few interesting details and provides his general election opposition with no new attack points. It is not transformative in any respects. It offers no significant guidance as to how President Obama will conduct his second term. And it won’t be in any serious way the basis for the actual 2013 budget: Congress won’t get its act together to pass a 2013 budget. That would be too much like actually doing its job. So we will have another series of continuing resolutions. Excepting a few ritual attack lines from the left and right, Obama’s budget will quickly disappear from sight, if it hasn’t already. (After all, 24 hours have passed.) I wish the world and this budget were different, but we are where we are.

The print media have obviously seen it as a rationale for restating whatever their editorial positions were already. The Times, predictably, called it a “clear and welcome contrast to the slashing austerity — and protect-the-wealthy priorities.” The Wall Street Journal opens by calling the budget “a brilliant bit of misdirection” and closes by calling President Obama’s fiscal direction as “the worst in modern history.” The Washington Post termed it “a serious, if inadequate, effort to put America on a sustainable path.” If the reception of the budget is utterly predictable, its results will be even more so.

  • freethinker

    A ‘budget’ and ‘free birth control’. The President is obviously hoping that more than 50% of the electorate are dumber than a door knobs. He may be right.

  • Sandyjasski

    I cannot believe that our congress is that ignorant where they have not figured out that the American people are more fed up with them than the President. Particularly, the Republicans in congress want to take down the President (and have total disrespect for our leader) that they don’t care about hurting the average American in the process. I hope and pray that everyone of them do NOT get re-elected.

  • cmfriend1028

    I still cannot understand why he would propose a budget that is the largest in history when the whole country is worried about spending. The white house could not find at least a couple billion to knock off the top so it may look like he was trying to cut spending? The war in Iraq has ended. Shouldn’t that spending (barrowed money to begin with) be eliminated somehow? When President Obama ran for his first term he promised to crack down on “waste,fraud and abuse”. Where is the savings from that?

  • Kingofnotsomuch

    The GOP are the ones that held the American people hostage,just because they are a bunch of morons,that are determend to stop the President at all costs.That is why the American’s approvle rate of Washington is so low,not President O BAMA.They are so caught up on tax breaks for the rich and corps, that they have forgot the American people knows what they are trying to do.Middle class people are almost non-exitant.They are the real backbone of America.Most have a higher standard of morals than any GOP member,thank God for that.All people should be treated the same,no different just you are rich or a corp.[remember corps. are people]

    backbone of America,

  • faburlett

    The American people cant wait to vote out all the republican congress.

  • Hankk

    Good for you President Obama, you gave congress the budget that is needed to bring the USA out of the mess that the GOP left us in. If you put the GOP in the house and senate all together, I’m not sure you could find a brain, nor a patriot amoung them. hankk,MI

  • johnmeyer

    Still, Obama has his concern to the State. The budget wa sthat good.Plus, Obama calls for lower cost of making pennies and nickels. The penny and nickel coins are a cash pit, as both coins cost double their face value to make. That is why the Obama budget is calling for the composition of the coins to be changed to conserve cash, and finally deliver some change we can believe in.