Barack Obama is fond of saying that “the majority of Americans” agree with him on his “balanced approach” to deficit reduction—which these days seems to mean increasing tax revenues through rate hikes and big defense spending cuts with relatively insignificant cuts elsewhere. At the beginning of his second term, the president appeared to be moving forward with an agenda that assumed the previous election settled the question of which party Americans liked more on taxes and spending.
White House spokesman Jay Carney roasted reporter Mara Liasson who asked whether entitlement reforms would be in the president's budget:
"Mara," said Carney to NPR reporter Mara Liasson, "the way you phrase that question makes me think that you're still working on a typewriter or something. It's available online. The proposal is there."
Carney then would not confirm that entitlement reforms will actually be in the president's forthcoming budget proposal.
"The president has always believed that deficit reduction is not a goal unto itself," said Carney. "The whole purpose of deficit reduction should be part of an overall policy objective of strengthening the economy, having it grow faster, have it create more and better jobs for the middle class. And that's the president's objective."
Carney then indicated the president's budget will not be balanced.
When it comes to deficit reduction, President Obama and the mainstream press seem to have a fascination with the figure of $4 trillion. During last year’s first presidential debate, Obama falsely claimed, “I've put forward a specific $4 trillion deficit reduction plan,” even though he’d done nothing of the sort.
President Obama has grown fond of saying that he’s “not a dictator,” “not a king,” and “not the emperor,” but is instead “the president.” Whether his tendency to clarify a seemingly obvious point reveals his inner desires or not, his actions in a variety of ways suggest that he doesn’t think the president shares his fellow citizens’ ongoing obligation to obey the law. To the contrary, he seems to view the president as being somewhat above the law.
Democratic representative Bruce Braley is running for the Iowa Senate seat being vacated by fellow Democrat Tom Harkin, but he might want to learn how the upper body functions first. In an interview on a local news station, Braley was asked about why the Senate has not passed a budget in nearly four years.
"How is that possible? One word," Braley replied. "The filibuster."
In a memo sent to fellow Republicans, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama outlines how he plans to change the terms of the budget debate with Democrats. The memo outlines how the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee plans to bring the fight directly to Democrats.
Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, blasts President Barack Obama in a statement for breaking the law by refusing to submit an annual budget. "President Obama is required by law to submit his budget request for Fiscal Year 2014. For the fourth time in five years, however, he will miss the statutory deadline," Ryan's office explains.