April 10 2013
The President's Budget: Late But Not Great
President Obama officially released his long-awaited budget today.
The headline at Market Watch says it all:
Obama Budget Taxes Rich as it Replaces Sequester
The Forbes headline is also good:
Obama Budget Aims to Raise $580 Billion in New Taxes with Old Ideas Targeting the Rich
Oh, my weary friends, here we go again: the president still doesn’t understand that raising taxes in a time of slow growth is a sure-fire way to hamper job creation. Though Forbes puts the tax hike at $580, other sources put it at $700 billion over the next decade.
There would be more spending on early childhood education, the President’s pet project, even though there are no indications that Head Start, the predecessor of this proposal, has any long-term impact on kids. There is lots of infrastructure, though, after the stimulus, there already should be no road or airport left behind.
President Obama really hates the sequester, though it hasn’t crimped his style. Republicans would be wise to hang onto it, even though it is a bludgeon and much less than what is needed. It is the only measure to slow growth of spending even a bit in years.
The budget features some measures that Republicans might go for—such as using a different way to figure cost of living increases to Social Security checks. These have set the president’s base on edge, and at any rate are too small to matter even if this budget were passed. Likely, these measures are merely rhetorical devices: I made concessions and the GOP still blocked me.
What I am noticing is that there is less comment in the blogosphere on the president’s budget proposals that one might have expected. This could signal that most people know that this budget isn’t going anywhere. If this budget is the president's opening gambit in a bid to solve overall fiscal problems, Chris Stirewalt of Fox says, then “he is not nearly as serious about seeking a compromise as the gushy reporting on his ‘charm offensive’ would have you believe.”
To sum up:
President: Maybe not that serious…