Obama opens the spigot: Proposes tens of billions in new spending
Give the guy an open ended debt ceiling and this is what you get.
President Barack Obama will propose an election-year budget that would drop reductions he had previously embraced in federal benefits, officials disclosed Thursday. He also will ask Congress to approve about $56 billion in new or expanded programs, stepping back from aggressive efforts to tackle long-term government deficits and debt.
Obama is scrapping his previous offer to trim cost-of-living increases in Social Security and other benefit programs. That idea had been a central component of his long-term debt-reduction strategy, even though it was considered odious by many Democrats.
The decision amounts to a White House acknowledgement that Obama has been unable to conclude a "grand budget bargain" with GOP leaders, even by proposing a benefit reduction embraced by Republicans and opposed by many in his own party. But it is also a testament to the recently diminished importance of government red ink as a driving political issue amid falling deficits and public exhaustion over threats of federal shutdowns and defaults.
Officials said that some potential spending reductions included in last year's Obama budget had been designed to initiate negotiations with Republicans over how to reduce future deficits and the nation's debt. But Republicans never accepted Obama's calls for higher tax revenue to go along with the cuts. The new budget for fiscal 2015 is to be released March 4.
Those "falling deficits" are due almost entirely to increased economic activity raising federal tax revenues and not to budget cutting by those evil Republicans.
And speaking of evil Republicans, they will probably express "surprise" at these new spending initiatives by the president, when a blind man could have seen this coming the moment that the GOP leadership joined with Democrats to give Obama an open-ended invitation to spend, and spend, and then spend some more. There is no dollar limit on how much debt the president can run up, only a date where he must ask congress to raise the debt ceiling again.
But that won't be until September. Until then, Obama's only restraint will be Republicans in the House who may find it difficult to resist some of this new spending, some of which will invariably benefit their districts.
The more things change...