Mark Knoller from CBS News reports this morning that President Obama, in a statement in the Rose Garden, “will stress his budget’s top objective is to boost the economy and create jobs.” To do that, he’ll have to contradict what he previously described as “the consensus among people who know the economy best.
In his weekly radio address, President Obama explained the budget he'll rollout next week, and said, "the truth is, our deficits are already shrinking."
"My budget will reduce our deficits not with aimless, reckless spending cuts that hurt students and seniors and middle-class families – but through the balanced approach that the American people prefer, and the investments that a growing economy demands," said Obama.
At a speech this morning at the White House to outline a new science initiative, President Barack Obama named himself "Scientist-in-Chief."
"I’m glad I’ve been promoted Scientist-in-Chief," Obama said to laughter at the White House. "Given my grades in physics, I’m not sure it’s deserving. But I hold science in proper esteem, so maybe that gives me a little credit."
In a statement released at 5 a.m. today, Senator Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, blasts the budget the Senate passed very early this morning. Sessions's main concern is that the budget "has zero real deficit reduction" and "never balances."
“The content of the plan the majority has now approved demonstrates why they were unwilling to reveal it for so long: their proposal, once accurately understood, cannot be publicly defended," says Sessions.
When they agreed to President Obama’s 2011 budget proposal that is responsible for the current sequester, Republicans expected that the nation’s concern and respect for the military would help to prevent the cuts in defense spending that would occur if agreement to reduce the deficit were not reached. They were wrong. And it couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Every single U.S. senator is expected later today to have to vote on whether the federal budget should be balanced, senior Senate aides tell me. The vote will be for support of an amendment to the Democratic budget, which is currently not balanced, and which will be debated on the Senate floor today, calling for it to be balanced.
Robert Samuelson's fine column in the Washington Post, “America the retirement home,” argues that “The budget debate’s central reality is that federal retirement programs, led by Social Security and Medicare, are crowding out most other government spending,” and that this is endangering the other important functions of government, including defense:
There are times when the absence of really, really bad news passes for good news. This is such a time here in America, at least for those who worry that our fiscal deficits of over about $1,000,000,000,000 per year will soon have historians referring to the glory that was Washington.