Obama in Wonderland Budget 2015: It’s Time to ‘End to the Era of Austerity’

wonderlandPresident Obama’s forthcoming budget request will seek tens of billions of dollars in fresh spending for domestic priorities while abandoning a compromise proposal to tame the national debt in part by trimming Social Security benefits.Obama-roll-of-diceWith the 2015 budget request, Obama will call for an end to the era of austerity that has dogged much of his presidency and to his efforts to find common ground with Republicans. Instead, the president will focus on pumping new cash into job training, early-childhood education and other programs aimed at bolstering the middle class, providing Democrats with a policy blueprint heading into the midterm elections.

“This reaffirms what has become all too apparent: the president has no interest in doing anything, even modest, to address our looming debt crisis”

–Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner

As part of that strategy, Obama will jettison the framework he unveiled last year for a so-called grand bargain that would have raised taxes on the rich and reined in skyrocketing retirement spending. A centerpiece of that framework was a proposal — demanded by GOP leaders — to use a less-generous measure of inflation to calculate Social Security benefits.

President Bambi

It’s not just Congressional Republicans objecting to catastrophic levels of spending. The most influential critic of irresponsible budgets now holds the nation’s highest office:

“We’ve lived through an era of easy money, in which we were allowed and even encouraged to spend without limits; to borrow instead of save….

Once we get past the present emergency, which requires immediate new investments, we have to break that cycle of debt.

–Barack Obama, 2008

Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey notes:

…If the new budget ends “austerity” by returning to Obama’s original top-line outlay demand of last year’s budget request, that will mean an additional increase of federal spending of 6.7% in just one year. If it’s just $56 billion more than the actual FY2014 outlays, then the notion that this ends “austerity” is doubly laughable.

The notion that we’ve been laboring under an “era of austerity” is as ridiculous and out of touch as … well, as most of Obama’s budget requests during his presidency…”

Republicans said emerging details of the president’s budget prove he was never serious about addressing the nation’s long-term debt problems.

Reality check:


“This reaffirms what has become all too apparent: the president has no interest in doing anything, even modest, to address our looming debt crisis,” Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), said in a statement. “The one and only idea the president has to offer is even more job-destroying tax hikes, and that non-starter won’t do anything to save the entitlement programs that are critical to so many Americans.”

The new budget request, due out March 4, comes during a relative lull in Washington’s lengthy budget wars. Late last year, Congress approved a two-year spending plan negotiated by the chairmen of the House and Senate Budget committees, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), that would ease automatic cuts, known as the sequester, that were eating away at agency spending. And this month, Congress agreed to forgo another battle over the federal debt limit, voting to suspend its enforcement until March 2015.

The lack of conflict is due in part to the collapse of the deficit as a political issue. While annual budget deficits remain high by historical standards, they have shrunken rapidly over the past few years as the economy recovered and Congress acted to cut spending.

The latest estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office show the deficit falling to$514 billion this year and to $478 billion in fiscal 2015 — well below the trillion-dollar deficits the nation racked up during the recession and immediately afterward. But the CBO warned that deficits would start to grow again in a few years…

Read the rest…

The Washington Post

3 Comments on “Obama in Wonderland Budget 2015: It’s Time to ‘End to the Era of Austerity’”

  1. bullright says:

    It’s no longer a just “cycle of debt” it’s a cycle of political failure.

  2. […] Obama: It’s Time to ‘End to the Era of Austerity’ (punditfromanotherplanet.com) […]

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