Monday, February 13, 2012

Wall Street Journal: 'President Obama Budget Proposal To Set Up Year-End Clash With Congress'

Source:Wall Street Journal- White House correspondent Laura Meckler.

"The White House's budget plan, to be formally released Monday isn't likely to become law any time soon but it sets up a critical debate that will come to a head in the weeks after the November election. At that time, Washington must grapple with three major budget issues: what to do about the Bush tax cuts, what to do about $1 trillion in deeply unpopular spending cuts that are set to kick in, and how to again raise the debt ceiling. All three items will be on the late-2012 agenda, regardless of whether Obama wins a second term." 

I think Laura Meckler nails it about President Obama's budget proposal. The President has a divided Congress to work with, with a Republican House and a Democratic Senate. And even with a Democratic Senate and even if Majority Leader Harry Reid brought up the President's budget proposal under reconciliation, (meaning the Senate minority party couldn't block the bill by themselves) which he couldn't do anyway because reconciliation bills have to start in the House, but even if Leader Reid could do that, he only has a 53-47 majority. And he could lose a handful of centrist Democrats who don't want to vote for any tax increases right now, especially if they're up for reelection and plan on serving in the next Congress. 

So President Obama's budget plan here is essentially his economic vision for where he wants to take the country if he's reelected and has a Democratic Congress (House and Senate) next year with the votes to push his agenda through. These are the kinds of proposals and political games that you get with a democratic government when the country is so divided like we are politically and culturally today. 

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