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“No Opinion”

RNC Communications - February 8, 2012

In today’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney revealed that Obama has “no opinion” on whether the Senate should pass a budget. It has been over 1,000 days since the Senate Democrats passed a budget. Obama will release his FY2013 budget next week (late, again), which is expected to repackage his failed deficit proposal from last fall.

ABC News’ Jake Tapper: “The White House has no opinion about whether or not the Senate should pass a budget? The president’s going to introduce one. The Fed chair says not having one is bad for growth. But the White House has no opinion about whether – ” 

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “I have no opinion — the White House has no opinion on Chairman Bernanke’s assessment of how the Senate ought to do its business.” (White House Press Briefing, 2/8/12) 

Next Week Obama Will Release His Budget, Which Is Just A Rehash Of His Previous Failed Policies

NOW, AGAIN: Obama’s FY2013 Is Essentially The Same Framework He Proposed In September Which Included $1.5 Trillion In New Taxes. “President Barack Obama will release his budget plan next week, calling for $3 trillion in deficit reductions over 10 years, including $1.5 trillion in tax increases to fall mostly on the wealthiest Americans. If that sounds familiar, it's because the president essentially laid out his budget plan in September, following a failed bipartisan deficit-reduction deal.” (Laura Meckler, “Budget Plan Has Familiar Ring,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/7/12)

THEN: USA Today: “The Plan’s Flaws Are Troubling.” “But the plan's flaws are troubling. It pretends that enough money can be raised simply by raising taxes on the rich. It can't. There aren't enough of them. Nor does the president's plan match his promise to ‘live within our means’ and ‘pay down’ debt. Even if it were fully enacted, the nation would add $6 trillion in debt over the next 10 years.” (Editorial, “Editorial: Politics Takes Priority In Obama’s Deficit Plan,” USA Today, 9/19/11)

Even If Every Part Of Obama’s Deficit Reduction Proposal Was Enacted, The Deficit At The End Of His First Term Would Still Have Been $1.33 Trillion. (“The President’s Plan For Economic Growth And Deficit Reduction; Table S-3,” Office Of Management And Budget, 9/19/11)

Independent Budget Experts Said Obama’s Debt Plan Fell Short Of Its Advertised Savings. “President Obama projects that his new plan for reducing the federal debt will save more than $3 trillion over the next decade by raising taxes on the wealthy and slashing spending on a host of government programs, from farm subsidies to federal worker pensions. But independent budget experts said the blueprint that Obama unveiled Monday — which White House officials say would save more than $4 trillion when added to earlier budget deals this year — appears to fall short of his target.” (Lori Montgomery And Jia Lynn Yang, “Budget Analysts Say Obama Deficit Plan Is Likely To Miss Its Targets,” The Washington Post, 9/19/11)

Even Democrats Rejected Obama’s Proposals For Higher Taxes

NOW, AGAIN: Obama Plans To Repeal The Tax Cuts For Families Earning More Than $250,000 And Would Pile More Taxes On Top Of That For Those Earning Over $1 Million A Year. “On taxes, about half the $1.5 trillion in revenue comes from ending Bush-era tax cuts for families earning more than $250,000 a year. Much of the rest comes from additional tax increases on families earning over $1 million a year, by taking away popular deductions and mandating a minimum 30% effective tax rate. Mr. Obama would end certain tax breaks for corporations, including breaks for oil and gas companies, as well as benefits for those who use corporate jets.” (Laura Meckler, “Budget Plan Has Familiar Ring,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/7/12)

THEN: Senate Democrats Rejected Obama’s Tax On Incomes Over $250,000, Instead Proposing A Surtax For Incomes Over $1 Million. “And on Wednesday came clear evidence of this shift: Senate Democratic leaders scrapped Obama’s proposal to cover the cost of his jobs bill by raising taxes on income over $250,000 a year, the old Democratic standard for defining the wealthy. Instead, they are proposing a 5.6 percent surtax on annual income of more than $1 million.” (Lori Montgomery, “Democrats Shift The Definition Of ‘Rich’ In Battle Over Taxes,” The Washington Post, 10/5/11)

Moderate Democrats Offered “Tepid Enthusiasm” For Obama’s Tax Hikes. “Liberals on Monday cheered President Barack Obama’s plan to hike taxes on the wealthy to cut the deficit. But the response from Democrats on the front lines of 2012 election battles? Silence. Or, at best, tepid enthusiasm.” (Scott Wong and Jake Sherman, “Moderate Dems Duck, Cover On Hikes,” Politico, 9/19/11)

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE): “There’s Too Much Discussion About Raising Taxes Right Now, Not Enough Focus On Cutting Spending.” “Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), a key moderate who’s up for reelection next year, didn’t mince words: ‘There’s too much discussion about raising taxes right now, not enough focus on cutting spending.’” (Scott Wong and Jake Sherman, “Moderate Dems Duck, Cover On Hikes,” Politico, 9/19/11)

“Most Of The Measures Have Been Pitched By The Obama Administration In Some Form Or Other Since 2009, Yet None Generated Enough Support To Pass Congress — Even When Democrats Controlled Both Houses.” (David Kocieniewski, “Tax Plan For Jobs Bill Has Familiar Ring,” The New York Times, 9/13/11)

Obama’s Budget Will Be A Political Document Aimed At Reelection, Not A Plan For Solutions To The Nation’s Fiscal Challenges

NOW, AGAIN: Obama Will Not Lay Out A Plan To Control The Nation’s Entitlement Programs In The Long-Term. “However, he isn't proposing the structural changes that experts say are needed to control spending in these programs over the long term. For instance, Mr. Obama won't suggest raising the Medicare eligibility age, as he was willing to do over the summer during bipartisan budget negotiations that failed to produce a deal. He also doesn't plan to propose changes to Social Security.” (Laura Meckler, “Budget Plan Has Familiar Ring,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/7/12)

Obama’s Budget “Serves As A Political Document” Rather Than A Plan That Can Actually Pass. “None of Mr. Obama's major proposals are expected to become law before November's elections, given both partisan divides in Congress over priorities as well as election-year politics. Still, the budget proposal serves as a political document in which Mr. Obama will set out his vision for how he would manage government taxes and spending should he win a second term.” (Laura Meckler, “Budget Plan Has Familiar Ring,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/7/12)

THEN: “Suffering An Erosion Of Support From The Broad Coalition That Elected Him, Obama Has Crafted A Plan That Reads More Like A Blueprint For Shoring Up His Restless Democratic Base Than A Vehicle For Reaching Across The Aisle In Search Of Bipartisan Compromise.” (Carrie Budoff Brown and Jennifer Epstein, “Obama To Unveil $3T Deficit Plan,” Politico, 9/18/11)

The Plan Was More Of A “Populist” Approach Than “The Compromises He Advocated Earlier This Summer.” “Combined with his call this month for $450 billion in new stimulus, the proposal represents a more populist approach to confronting the nation’s economic travails than the compromises he advocated earlier this summer.” (Zachary Goldfarb, “Obama’s Debt-Reduction Plan: $3 Trillion In Savings, Half From New Tax Revenue,” The Washington Post, 9/18/11)

The Dallas Morning News: Obama “Abdicated Leadership.” “But this newspaper sees problems in his fine points, beginning with his almost total dodge on entitlement reforms. Obama identified only about $300 billion in Medicare and Medicaid savings. And not a single detail about overhauling Social Security. Washington can’t fix the $14 trillion debt problem without overhauling those programs, which are big debt drivers. The president knows all this and simply abdicated leadership.” (Editorial, “Editorial: Gang Of 38 Offers A Better Debt Approach,” The Dallas Morning News, 9/19/11)


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