Budget/Deficit Open Thread

Earlier today, President Obama sent Congress a $3.83 trillion budget that will "pour more money into the fight against high unemployment, boost taxes on the wealthy and freeze spending for a wide swath of government programs. The deficit for this year would surge to a record-breaking $1.56 trillion, topping last year's then unprecedented $1.41 trillion gap. The deficit would remain above $1 trillion in 2011."

Washington Post: "To put people back to work, Obama proposes to spend about $100 billion immediately on a jobs bill that would include tax cuts for small businesses, social-safety-net programs, and aid to state and local governments. To reduce deficits, he would impose new fees on some of the nation's largest banks and permit a range of tax cuts to expire for families earning more than $250,000 a year, in addition to freezing non-security spending for three years."

New York Times:
No budget proposal is ever enacted wholesale by Congress, and the spreadsheet-boggling numbers in the White House plan are sure to produce anguished partisan and ideological debates over how best to address the deficit and the nation’s lingering economic problems between now and the start of the new fiscal year next Oct. 1 — if indeed Congress manages to complete its work by then, right before the midterm elections.

...In brief remarks in the Grand Foyer at the White House, the president outlined the principles contained in his budget, saying: "Changing spending as usual depends on changing politics as usual." He offered several examples of programs he believes should be eliminated and urged Congress to follow suit.

"I'm asking Republicans and Democrats alike to take a fresh look at programs they supported in the past to see what's working and see what's not and trim back accordingly," Mr. Obama said.
Mmm, I love the smell of bipartisanship in the morning. Or afternoon. Whatever.

LA Times:
"It's not a left-wing budget. It's not a right-wing budget," White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said in a briefing for reporters Sunday. "It's a pragmatic budget. It's a common-sense budget.
Oh jaysus. Not that old chestnut again.

USA Today notes that the "losers" in the new budget include the departments of Commerce, Agriculture, Justice, and Housing and Urban Development, as well as NASA, making way for important (ahem) expenditures like "funding for up to 1,000 airport body scanners."

In good news, the proposed budget includes a "$4 billion increase in veterans' programs, including continuing an emphasis on brain injuries and mental health needs."


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