Voting present on the Federal budget
As this Wall Street Journal piece notes, President Obama has submitted a budget just for the sake of submitting a budget. All of the talk these past few months about “serious” decisions on the budget reforms, the deficit, entitlement reforms, etc. are pretty much ignored. A bi-partisan deficit commission? Is there any doubt now that this was nothing but fluff?
Needless to say, Obama has set a low bar for House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) as he crafts the GOP’s budgetary rebuttal. Ryan has scheduled a series of hearings next week to review the president’s budget and hear testimony from OMB Director Jacob Lew and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.
Expect a thorough grilling, in particular as to why the White House refused to touch entitlements. “If the president’s budget ignores [entitlement] programs, that means he is abdicating leadership on dealing with the deficit,” Ryan said on Fox New Sunday. “Presidents are elected to lead, not to punt, and this president has been punting.”
In all fairness, the WSJ piece points out that Republicans are not exactly lighting it up when it comes to addressing entitlement reform. But that’s really not the point.
In 2008, Obama, and by extension, the Democrats, were elected because they were considered the new grown-ups in Washington. Remember all the talk about winning elections and cars in ditches and all that nonsense? Yeah, about that.
The White House is more than happy for Republicans to come out and actually make the difficult decisions, and pay the political price for them.