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Vetoing Leadership

- February 16, 2011

Obama Edges The Government Closer To A Shut Down

OBAMA THREATENS TO VETO FUNDING BILL THAT ACTUALLY MAKES CUTS

“The Office Of Management And Budget On Tuesday Issued A Statement Indicating That Mr. Obama Will Veto The CR Bill As It Stands …”  (Stephanie Condon, “Is a Government Shutdown in March on the Table?” CBS News, 2/16/11)

But “Some Version Of The CR Is Needed To Avoid A Shutdown Since The Democratic-Led Congress Failed To Pass A Budget Last Year.” “The Continuing Resolution (CR) bill currently on the House floor would keep the government operating past March 4. Some version of the CR is needed to avoid a shutdown since the Democratic-led Congress failed to pass a budget last year. Congress in December passed a stopgap funding bill to keep the government operating through March 4."  (Stephanie Condon, “Is a Government Shutdown in March on the Table?” CBS News, 2/16/11)

  • House Republicans’ CR Proposal Will Start Making Cuts Now, Instead Of “Theoretical Deficit Targets Set Far In The Future.” “Starting Tuesday, House Republicans will move forward with a very different approach, one intended to be viewed as radical and painful. Their proposal deals not with theoretical deficit targets set far in the future but with the final seven months of this year's budget, a period left in flux by congressional inaction.”  (Shailagh Murray And Paul Kane, “House Republicans Counter Obama Budget Plan With Much Deeper Cuts,” The Washington Post2/14/11)

Democrats Talk About Government Shutdown, Hoping To Have “Political Edge On The Issue.” “Senate Democrats are talking about a possible government shutdown more than Republicans, a sign that Democrats are confident they have the political edge on the issue. Senate Democrats have met with senior White House officials in preparation for an intense clash with Republicans over government spending levels and a proposal to increase the national debt ceiling. The three highest-ranking Senate Democratic leaders warned on Thursday that a shutdown is a real possibility.” (Alexander Bolton, “Government Shutdown On The Lips Of Senate Democrats, Not Republicans,”  The Hill2/4/11)

JUST THE LATEST EXAMPLE THAT OBAMA REFUSES

TO SHOW REAL LEADERSHIP ON THE DEFICIT

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)

  • The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank: “In His New Budget, Obama Kicks The Can One More Time” (Dana Milbank, Op-Ed, “In His New Budget, Obama Kicks The Can One More Time,” The Washington Post, 2/15/11)

Senior Democrats “Needn’t Have Worried” That Obama “Would Suddenly Gain His Nerve” And Address The Debt Crisis.  “Senior congressional Democrats were plenty nervous on the eve of President Barack Obama’s 2012 budget presentation, fretting that Obama would suddenly gain his nerve and decide to take on the issue that editorial pages ceaselessly debate but elected officials are wary to touch — entitlement reform. They needn’t have worried. White House officials assured their friends on the Hill that Obama wouldn’t broach the subject, Democrats told POLITICO, and on Monday when he presented his budget the president conspicuously avoided addressing entitlements, despite citing them as the country’s major fiscal problem.” (Glen Thrush, “Has Obama Set GOP Entitlement Trap?”  Politico2/16/11)

Before This Week’s Budget Flop, Only 27 Percent Of Americans Approved Of Obama’s Handling Of The Deficit, While 68 Percent Disapproved. (Gallup, 1015A, MoE 4%, 2/2-5/11)

AND WHILE OBAMA FAILS TO LEAD,

CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS PLAY POLITICS WITH DEBT CRISIS

“‘They Are Suckers,’ Said One Senior Democratic Congressional Aide Of The House GOP Plans To Release The First Detailed Proposals To Reduce Entitlement Spending. ‘They Have Painted Themselves Into A Corner.’” (Glen Thrush, “Has Obama Set GOP Entitlement Trap?”  Politico2/16/11)

  • “In This Light, The White House Veto Threat Fits Into A Democratic Strategy Of Standing Back, Perhaps Poking At The Republican Majority But Largely Hoping That Divisions Arise Within The GOP Itself.”  (David Rogers, “Obama Plays Hardball With Veto Threat,” Politico2/15/11)

Pelosi And Other Democrats Called The GOP Plan “Dangerous.” “While Republicans touted their legislation as an essential step toward deficit control, Democrats argued it was dangerous. ‘With severe and indiscriminate spending cuts, it goes too far. This legislation will destroy American jobs while harming middle class families, young adults, seniors and, yes, even our veterans,’ said California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader.” (“Obama, GOP Steering Onto Budget Collision Course,” The Associated Press2/15/11)

“Obama’s Decision To Avoid Entitlements Was Instantly Deemed As Irresponsible” But It Welcomed By Congressional Democrats.  “Obama’s decision to avoid entitlements was instantly deemed as irresponsible. Progressive blogger Andrew Sullivan interpreted the message as ‘screw you, suckers’ to future generations. The usually Obama-friendly Washington Post editorial page pithily described him as “Punter-in-Chief.” Republicans expressed outrage.  But for Hill Democrats — so often at odds with Obama for the past two years — this omission was no sin.” (Glen Thrush, “Has Obama Set GOP Entitlement Trap?”  Politico2/16/11)

EVEN THOUGH AMERICA’S FISCAL SITUATION IS DIRE

PolitiFact Rated Obama’s Claim That His Budget Would Not Add To The Debt As FALSE.  POLITIFACT: “We think the president’s statement is likely to mislead a lot of Americans about what his budget would do. So we rate Obama’s statement False.” (“Barack Obama Says White House Budget Would Not Add To The Debt Within A Few Years,” St. Petersburg Times’ “PolitiFact,” 2/15/11)

The Deficit This Year Is Slated To Reach A Historically High $1.65 Trillion. (Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Of The U.S. Government" Office Of Management And Budget, 2/14/11)

The Deficit In FY 2012 Is Slated To Be $1.1 Trillion In FY 2012.  (Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Of The U.S. Government" Office Of Management And Budget, 2/14/11)

  • “The Annual Deficit Would Recede To $1.1 Trillion Next Year, As Obama's Latest Policies Began To Take Effect - The Fourth Straight Year Of Trillion-Dollar Deficits.”  (Lori Montgomery, “Obama Budget Projects Record $1.6 Trillion Deficit,” The Washington Post2/14/11)

“And the administration says it will reach $15.476 trillion by Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year, to reach 102.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) — the first time since World War II that dubious figure has been reached.”  (Stephen Dinan, “Debt Now Equals Total U.S. Economy,” The Washington Times, 2/14/11)

In 2021, Gross Debt Will Total $26.3 Trillion, Equaling 107 Percent Of GDP.  (Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Of The U.S. Government, Office Of Management And Budget, 2/14/11)


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