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Obama’s Leadership Mulligan

- April 11, 2011

After Unserious First Budget Proposal, Obama Will Try Again With A Focus On Hiking Taxes

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 “President Barack Obama Will Lay Out His Plan For Reducing The Nation's Deficit Wednesday, Belatedly Entering A Fight Over The Nation's Long-Term Financial Future.” (Carol E. Lee & Damian Paletta, “Obama Puts Taxes On Table,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/11/11)

TWO MONTHS AFTER RELEASING A BUDGET BLUEPRINT FOR BANKRUPTCY,

OBAMA WILL GIVE LEADING ANOTHER SHOT

 After Refusing To Touch The Long-Term Drivers Of Government Spending, Obama Will Propose A “New” Budget. “President Obama introduced a budget that was widely panned. It didn’t touch entitlements, froze discretionary spending at inflated levels and threw in a $1.5 trillion tax hike. Then Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) rolled out his budget, which was widely praised. It addressed Medicare and Medicaid, froze discretionary spending at pre-Obama levels and proposed pro-growth tax reform. Following Obama’s shellacking by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Obama is now going to try it again.” (Jennifer Rubin, “Obama’s Do-Over Budget,” The Washington Post, 4/11/11)

After The Obama Administration Ignored Its Own Deficit Commission’s Recommendations, “Suddenly, They Seem Inspired …” “The White House has had plenty of chances to tackle deficit -- remember the president's deficit commission and his State of the Union speech -- but didn't. Suddenly, they seem inspired to get real on Medicare?” (Michael Falcone and Amy Walter, “Obama Sets The Pace For 2012, White House Eyes Medicare Reform,” ABC News’ “The Note,” 4/11/11)

Obama Is Attempting To “Come Off The Sidelines On The Debate Over Reducing The Nation’s Debt.” “In a speech to be delivered at a university here on Wednesday, Mr. Obama will in effect come off the sidelines on the debate over reducing the nation’s debt, which is reaching dangerous heights as the population ages.” (Jackie Calmes, “Obama To Call For Broad Plan To Reduce Debt,” The New York Times, 4/10/11)

OBAMA’S ORIGINAL BUDGET DUCKED THE TOUGH CHOICES TO REIN IN DEBT AND THE PUBLIC NOTICED

64 Percent Of Americans Disapprove Of Obama’s Handling Of The Budget Deficit. (Quinnipiac, 2069 RV, MoE 2.2%, 3/22-28/11)

The Washington Post: “President Obama’s Budget Kicks The Hard Choices Further Down The Road.” (Editorial, “President Obama’s Budget Kicks The Hard Choices Further Down The Road,” The Washington Post, 2/15/11)

  • Given The Chance To Show Leadership With His Budget, Obama "Chose Instead To Duck" Behind "The Sort Of Budgetary Gimmicks He Once Derided." "Having been given the chance, the cover and the push by the fiscal commission he created to take bold steps to raise revenue and curb entitlement spending, President Obama, in his fiscal 2012 budget proposal, chose instead to duck. To duck, and to mask some of the ducking with the sort of budgetary gimmicks he once derided."  (Editorial, "President Obama's Budget Kicks The Hard Choices Further Down The Road," The Washington Post, 2/15/11)

Obama Has Been “Mostly AWOL” On The “Big Ideological Budget Discussions.” “They're also talking about the big, ideological budget discussions that must occur in the future. ‘There are going to be I think very sharply contrasting visions in terms of where we should move the country,’ Obama said. ‘That's a legitimate debate to have.’ Really? So where has the president been in that debate? Mostly AWOL, so far as I can tell.” (Gloria Borger, Op-Ed, “Washington, We’re Done With High School,” CNN, 4/6/11)

NOW REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP ON CUTTING SPENDING HAS “FORCED” OBAMA TO FEIGN INTEREST IN FISCAL DISCIPLINE

Obama “Now Is Forced To Talk About” Cutting The Deficit Because “Republicans Are Driving The Debate.” “DAVID GREGORY: “What about conservatives, Chuck? You heard Chairman Ryan say, look, we came out pretty well on this. What is true is that Republicans are driving the debate. Cutting spending…  Cutting the deficit is what the President now is forced to talk about.” … CHUCK TODD: “[A]nd I thought today, I thought it was interesting and telling and, in essence, a give to the Republicans when David Plouffe said we're all committed to reducing the deficit, we're all committed to reducing the debt…It tells you where they think Independent voters are.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 4/11/11)

“The Republican — And, Yes, The Tea Party — Agenda Is Not Only Ascendant, It’s Driving The Debate Over Reshaping Government At Every Level.” (Jim VandeHei & Mike Allen, “The GOP's Winning Streak,” Politico, 4/11/11) 

  • “[E]ven Democrats recognize Republicans have the offensive on the spending issue — that they own it in a way Obama simply can’t. A top Democratic official, insisting on anonymity in order to be candid, said: “The fundamental problem of the whole process is Democrats have zero ability to describe what our view of government really is. So basically all we do is defend the status quo against attacks from the right-wing fringe of the GOP.” (Jim VandeHei & Mike Allen, “The GOP's Winning Streak,” Politico, 4/11/11)

BUT THE PRESIDENT STILL DOESN’T RECOGNIZE THAT THE PROBLEM IS SPENDING, AND IS INSTEAD FOCUSING ON TAX INCREASES

“Until Now, Mr. Obama Has Been Largely Absent From The Raging Debate Over The Long-Term Deficit.” (Carol E. Lee And Damian Paletta, “Obama Puts Taxes On The Table,” The Wall Street Journal4/11/11) 

The President’s FY2012 Budget Already Proposed A Series Of Tax Increases That Were Rejected By The Democrat-Controlled Congress. “President Barack Obama's budget proposal resurrects a series of tax increases on certain corporations and the wealthy that were largely ignored by Congress when Democrats controlled both chambers.” (Stephen Ohlemacher, “Obama Budget Resurrects Rejected Tax Increases,” The Associated Press, 2/14/11)

  • And Obama’s New Plan Will Go Further And “Aim Its Firepower” At Taxes. “But in addition to suggesting cuts—the current focus of debate—the White House looks set to aim its firepower on a more divisive topic: taxes.” (Carol E. Lee And Damian Paletta, “Obama Puts Taxes On The Table,” The Wall Street Journal,4/11/11)

 Obama Advisor David Plouffe Said That Obama’s New Plan Will Include Tax Increases. “‘Every corner of the federal government has to be looked at here,’ David Plouffe, a senior White House adviser, said Sunday in one of multiple television appearances. ‘Revenues are going to have to be part of this,’ he said, referring to tax increases.”  (Jackie Calmes, “Obama To Call For Broad Plan To Reduce Debt,” The New York Times, 4/10/11)


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