A former community organizer in Chicago, Obama proposed a 50-percent cut to a $700-million community-service block grant program. A former lawyer who touted his work to improve living conditions for the poor, Obama proposed a sharp cut in energy assistance for low-income families. A graduate-school alumnus who only recently, and quite publicly, was able to pay off his debts, Obama proposed refiguring loan programs so that students would accrue interest even while they’re enrolled. – Sam Stein
Barack Obama still hasn’t learned you get no credit for cutting off your own. As a nod to the Republicans, he’s making a statement. Trust me, they could not care less.
Andrew Sullivan is not pleased with Pres. Obama’s budget, his caterwauling proving my point. After weeks away due to ill health, he’s back and begins by unloading on Obama:
They have to lead, because this president is too weak, too cautious, too beholden to politics over policy to lead. In this budget, in his refusal to do anything concrete to tackle the looming entitlement debt, in his failure to address the generational injustice, in his blithe indifference to the increasing danger of default, he has betrayed those of us who took him to be a serious president prepared to put the good of the country before his short term political interests. Like his State of the Union, this budget is good short term politics but such a massive pile of fiscal bullshit it makes it perfectly clear that Obama is kicking this vital issue down the road.
To all those under 30 who worked so hard to get this man elected, know this: he just screwed you over. He thinks you’re fools. Either the US will go into default because of Obama’s cowardice, or you will be paying far far more for far far less because this president has no courage when it counts. He let you down. On the critical issue of America’s fiscal crisis, he represents no hope and no change. Just the same old Washington politics he once promised to end.
The light has finally dawned. “Hope” and “change” were marketing messaging. Ah, got it. Mr. Sullivan is actually channeling his own grief even if he’s well beyond the under 30 crowd. It has him looking to Mitch Daniels for fiscal salvation, who just had a rhetorical collision with Rush Limbaugh.
Pres. Obama is just another elite corporate politician doing what every other president would do in order to live to fight another day. He’s going to let the opposition propose the devastating cuts to people’s favorite programs, while preemptively cutting some of his own to have as a talking point.
POLITICO proves why Obama did what he did. The first ones up on their “loser” list is “the liberal base.”
Pres. Obama cannot be taken seriously on anything having to do with fiscal reality, because his craven political cowardice pushed him to sign on to extending tax cuts for the top 2% in December, which any sane person would know is going to make the deficit worse not better, while not solving anything. The Wall Street Journal laid the budget out on Monday. Both parties are laser focused on discretionary programs, while placing their fingers in their ears and singing La La La La La on entitlement challenges.
It’s all so predictably absurd; politics as usual on steroids.
Everyone is running around saying how hard this is, but only because these knuckleheads are making it more difficult than it is.
Yes, I know, it’s argued that Obama couldn’t have gotten anything more. I don’t really want to revisit all of that; my point here is simply that everyone is drawing the wrong lesson. Fiscal policy didn’t fail; it wasn’t tried. – Paul Krugman
Raise the fricking cap on Social Security taxed income; $106,000 in today’s world of super wealthy makes no sense. That would be enough. But taxes should also be realigned so that multi-millionaires have a higher bracket, with the super wealthy another one above it. Then get out of Iraq, and immediately bring troops home from areas where we no longer need to be, which includes Afghanistan, because a 2014 date is patently absurd.
Pres. Obama was never going to stand up against his base on entitlements in this budget, particularly on Social Security. He wouldn’t get reelected if he did.
It does no good for Obama to keep Mr. Sullivan if he loses his base. The changes to Social Security are much more likely to come in Obama’s second term, which has always been the play, even if raising the cap would solve a lot more problems than tinkering with the model would make. Once you open that door it stays open.