Obama budget to do little on national debt
WASHINGTON — When President Obama introduces his budget request on Tuesday, it will mark a starting point for Obama and Republicans to begin framing the choice presented to voters before midterm elections.
Americans hoping for a renewal of broad talks to cut the nation's debt will be disappointed. And the conversation surrounding the budget release has taken on a partisan edge.
“I will send Congress a budget that will create new jobs in manufacturing and energy and innovation and infrastructure, and we'll pay for every dime of it by cutting unnecessary spending, closing wasteful tax loopholes,” Obama said in a speech to the Democratic National Committee on Friday. “Now, Republicans have a different view.”
The White House has said the president will step back from his attempt to persuade Republicans to accept a grand bargain to reduce the soaring national debt that would include entitlement changes, something liberals abhor, and raising tax revenues, something conservatives hate.
Instead, Obama's proposal will detail $28 billion in new domestic funding, including money for new manufacturing hubs, job training and early childhood education that would be offset by cost savings elsewhere. The Defense Department would get an additional $28 billion in its 2015 budget, but the administration is calling for the Pentagon to begin reducing the size of the Army by 10,000 soldiers by 2019.
The plan will take off the table what is known as “chained-CPI,” a proposal that would lead to less generous increases in Social Security benefits annually. The White House and its allies are using that decision to attempt to underscore that House Speaker John Boehner and his fellow Republicans have shown a lack of willingness to negotiate on reducing the deficit.
Polls suggest that stepping back from the deficit conversation is good politics. Only 8 percent of Americans identified budget or deficit issues as the top issue for the country, according to a Gallup Poll in February.
Republicans and some budget analysts say the White House is downplaying the independent Congressional Budget Office's calculation that the annual deficit is projected to balloon to more than $800 billion by 2022, as Medicare costs are projected to rise.
“They are more worried about their next election than the next generation,” Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said in a speech last week at the American Action Forum in Washington.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Biden reassures Iraq: U.S. backs your forces in fight against Islamic State
- EPA expected to expand protection of streams, wetlands
- BP credited with gulf tourism boom
- Doctors, hospitals get more time to convert to electronic health records
- Obama gets state, local allies for key initiatives
- Rescuers find stranded woman in California desert, too late for husband
- Senate committee backs vets’ rights to marijuana
- Wife, brother accused in man’s hatchet killing
- John Nash, wife, ‘A Beautiful Mind’ inspiration, die in N.J. taxi crash
- Iraqi troops lack ‘will to fight,’ Secretary of Defense Carter says
- After bruising safety crisis, U.S. car watchdog shows its bite