My thoughts on the President’s proposed budget are mixed. I’ll be honest and tell you that I won’t spend much time worrying about it because it is a long process and there will be many ups and downs along the way. Steve Benen continues to be the best blogger out there and since I frequently agree with him, I’ll just let him say it for me.
But Obama’s preferred approach is about making him appear reasonable against GOP extremism. As the fight progresses, the president will tell the public, “I presented a budget plan with deep cuts, even to programs I care about, which will lower the deficit considerably. Instead of working on a sensible compromise, Republicans are going too far and now want to shut down the government.” The point is to push the GOP into fighting the White House to do some very unpopular things — things the president and his team suspect Republicans will drop when push comes to shove, for fear of a public backlash.
Since the GOP won the House in November, I’ve been wondering how the budget process, including this current years budget, would work out. Republicans have been in “stupid” mode for two years, just saying anything they want, not proposing anything themselves, shooting at a big target presented by the mess left by the Bush administration. Someone had to get us out of the mess and it sure wasn’t Republicans stepping up to the plate and I guess since they were out of power, they had every reason to play the game that way. But now that they control the House and are responsible for writing the budget and passing laws, well, it’s time for them to step up to the plate.
I know some left bloggers are pissed at the President for comparing the government budget to a family’s budget, saying they are like apples and oranges. That may be true, but it doesn’t mean that the family budget analogy can’t be used to help the general public understand it. I think his tact is dead on, especially with so many village idiots entering the political process. If he doesn’t explain it in a way that the general population understands, he leaves himself open with Republicans using every trick they can to appeal to these folks. Education is the key to fighting against the Republicans tactics.
I’ll just wrap up this post with the idea that during the campaign, President Obama talked about being fiscally responsible and taking on tough issues including spending. I’m sure a large part of the progressive wing didn’t hear that or didn’t believe him, thinking he was just saying it to get elected. Well, just like with Afghanistan, he meant what he said and is doing exactly what he said he would do. I may not like it, but I knew it when I voted for him, so I’m dealing with it.