Obama’s Budgetary Smoke and Mirrors

Originally posted elsewhere on 4/5/2011

As in magic, it’s all about misdirection. Here are two big ones that Obama tried out during his surprise appearance today at the Whitehouse’s daily press briefings.

  • The president expressed his exasperation that over the past one, two or three months Congress has not been able to come to an agreement about the budget. He is purposely trying to make it look as though Republican intransigence is preventing a 2011 bugdet from being passed. However, his party was in complete control of the Congress when the president proposed his budget in February 2010 until the 2011 fiscal year began on October first of last year. But in an act of cowardice, the Democratic leadership didn’t want their members to be on record for their vote prior to the last election. Following the Democratic “shellacking,” Democrats continued to control Congress until the new Republican House members were inaugurated in January.
  • $73 billion proposed cuts by the Democrats are not real cuts. They are based on the president’s proposed budget in which Obama sought to increase spending over current levels. It’s like a store raising the price on an item, then knocking it back to the suggested list price and trying to pass off the list price as a “sale” price. In order to be a real cut, it must be a cut of existing spending levels.
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