UnNews:Obama springs 2012 budget on Congress
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15 February 2011
In view of the increased opposition now in Congress, Mr. Obama's new budget slashes spending by $1100 billion...over ten years...compared to what Mr. Obama was going to ask for otherwise...for anyone who lives that long despite Obama-care...unless the nation gets attacked again or something important comes up. The proposed reduction is huge, though not quite as much money as Washington will borrow in the current year alone.
Republicans in the House of Reprehensibles, still bound by the "new civility" promise they made in the wake of the Tucson shooting, were not allowed to call the budget "dead on arrival," the phrase popularized during the George W. Bush years. Instead, the party of the Great Communicator termed the document "regrettable," "unfortunate," and "poopie."
Republicans have a fight of their own on their hands. They promised voters they would cut spending by $100 billion in the current year, but Speaker John Boehner clarified that, "the fiscal year is already half over--so we can't cut more than $25 billion." Newly elected Congressmen aligned with the Tea Party reportedly threw a fit and restored the entire $100 billion of cuts (which have still not been specified). Consequently, it will not be a timid House budget, but one as bold as the bill already passed to repeal Obama-care, that will splatter against a brick wall when it moves to the Senate.
"We're eager to work with Republicans to cut spending," a senior administration official told reporters. Mr. Obama himself was touring the nation to propose new, federally funded high-speed rail.
Mr. Obama's budget delivers on a promise to halve the deficit by 2013. He will do this by freezing federal pay, except in the areas of defense, homeland security, and welfare. Government employees would only receive their step increases and grade increases, not the other ones. Mr. Obama will take a scalpel to payments to doctors, though you can all keep your current plan if you like it, and the Bush tax cuts will expire in 2010. No, wait, that didn't happen, but it will in 2012. The Obama budget also figures that, as the debt decreases from all those budget surpluses, the government will pay less interest, because when Bernanke finishes pumping out a new $600 billion, it won't cause inflation and it won't raise interest rates. The budget also proposes twelve new taxes on energy, which--given last year's fight over "cap-and-trade," is sure to be no problem at all.
In short, prospects for the budget look fine. The Democratic President and the Republican Congress are on exactly the same page: both proposing things that are certain not to happen.
- Alister Bull and Jeff Mason "Obama budget to cut deficit by $1.1 trillion" Reuters, February 14, 2011