Obama's 2012 budget as much fiction as 2011's
Congressmen get their first look at President Obama's fiscal 2012 budget on Monday.
February 14th, 2011
10:28 AM ET

Obama's 2012 budget as much fiction as 2011's

President Barack Obama on Monday introduced his fiscal 2012 budget, a $3.7 trillion amalgamation of guesses and calculations which stands no chance of being enacted in the form the president’s bean counters put it together.

Before it gets back to Obama’s desk for a signature, the spending blueprint will go through no less than 40 congressional committees, 24 subcommittees, countless hearings and a number of floor votes in the House and Senate, CNNMoney’s Jeanne Sahadi writes.

Republicans wasted no time in letting the president know what they liked nothing. Here’s what House Speaker John Boehner said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press”:

"He's going to present a budget tomorrow that's going to continue to destroy jobs by spending too much, borrowing too much, taxing too much."

Considering that all government spending originates in the House, where Boehner’s Republicans hold a 241-to-193 advantage, you can see how big a fight is ahead.

And recent history shows that all this may not mean anything. The federal government still hasn’t passed a budget for fiscal 2011, which began October 1.

The country has been paying its bills with continuing resolutions, the latest of which expires on March 4.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Economy • Politics
soundoff (517 Responses)
  1. Baruch

    It's all a fantasy until the following are accomplished:
    1) End of wars, close US military bases around the world (there are over 700 of them!)
    2) End the governments ties with the military industrial complex
    3) Flat tax, 12% across the board for everyone
    4) End corporate welfare i.e. subsidies to multibillion dollar multinationals like Exxon

    The government of the US needs to pay attention. What's happening in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Algeria, Iran, can happen here...in other words, it's getting time to throw the crooked bums out, and I mean Democrats and Republicans alike.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harry(NJ)

      You are right that is a fantasy. That may work in a game like Sim City, but with all of those cuts you would have high unemployement, no techonolgical development, and therefore no revenue.

      There are many americans employee by defense contractors, many businesses that would never invest without governmental help, and of course a huge millitary that needs support. All of these things are important.

      February 14, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Baruch

      Harry, the war paradigm must become obsolete. It's that simple. The amount of resources saved by the cuts I suggested would be enough to provide health care for all, decent education, and to back a myriad of progressive technologies (jobs!) that would move us forward. I respect that you clearly care what happens, but I think you are drawing from an old well that is toxic. If the US continues to be a weapons based economy we will arrange eventually to have all those weapons turned against us. It is time for the US to embrace true progress.

      February 14, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. GoodAdvice

    This is a joke. Republicans continue their blockade of Obama policies in all forms. They bring out a tiny reduction bill as their huge plan to reduce spending by putting massive cuts on education and health just to bring the debt down by a few billion. Then Obama's team come out with a near $4 trillion reduction without cutting spending on anything that isn't practically a pure luxury for a country and they get up in arms.

    The worst part is that next week all the headlines will read that the Dems aren't going along with what Boehner wants in an attempt at showing that they are destroying the country. In another 6 years everyone will look back on this and say, "see see, the Democrats ruined everything, they refused to get any work done and they don't like working with anybody." It took 40 years for them to gain enough of a majority to completely screw this country up and then they try to act like it took 2 years of them being out of Congress after the fact to cause all our problems.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. kburgoyne

    This country needs to actually start collecting revenue from corporations. We now have the highest corporate tax rate, but one of the lowest revenue collections of any industrialized nation. The tax rate is meaningless because too many big corporations have too many exemptions from actually having to pay it.

    Make ALL the companies actually pay their taxes. With the taxation more evenly spread across the companies, the tax rate can be lowered. That will help small and medium companies that don't have as many resources as big companies to exploit the tax loopholes.

    And get rid of the REDICULOUS subsidies paid to huge multi-nationals like Big Oil. The very concept of handing over tax payer money to Big Oil would be hilarious if it wasn’t so pitiful.

    If anybody thinks gas prices will go up as result would be wrong. First, why should somebody who doesn’t use gas have to pay to subsidize another person’s gas? Second, Big Oil can make up the subsidies, if they actually cared, by increasing gas prices by less than $0.015 per gallon. That delta is not even detectable given the normal gas price fluctuations we already experience.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bigger Picture

      Any person who has ever studied finance will tell you that it is a two part problem. Anyone who has ever studied Politics will tell you it is a two party problem. One party wants to fix the spending while breaking the revenue, the other party wants to fix the revenue without addressing the broken spending. It's insanity. And the sad part is, the American people are too stupid to call each parties bluff. My solution, fix the spending AND the reveue problems. This problem is both the Dem's and Repubs problems and dates back to the Great Depression.

      February 14, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. George Jetson

    Jane! Stop this crazy thing!

    February 14, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. james

    What a frickin joke. Anyone notice that none of the deficit commission's proposals are nowhere to be found? How much did we waste on that commission? Vote ABO in November 2012 - Anyone But Obozo.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Noodlexyz

    Its very clear by reading all these comments that none of us really know what the hell we're talking about or what the hell we should do. Funny thing is, neither do those in charge.

    It seems to me fixing this whole budget thing is going to take some trail and error since it reminds me more of a 2nd grade science class than a carefully calculated math problem.

    As for those who beleive they have the solution, please run for office and put your money where your mouth is...if you have any left. Then we'll see what you really stand for when your backs against the wall.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. taxguy

    Everyone please stop complaining about taxes. Do you realize we are currently pay the second lowest tax rate in the history of the U.S.? Many Americans live beyond their means. I am a Republican to the core, but the fact is taxes need to go up for everyone. Many people could live off less. We are just too spoiled to realize many of the things we supposedly "need" are luxuries. I wish I could run for president (too young). I would probably be to most hated president in the history of the U.S. (for both sides), but I'd balance the budget and reduce the deficit. Give me 8 years and then the people can do whatever they want with me.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • taxguy

      The U.S. also pays less personal income tax than the vast majority of industrialized nations. In some cases, significantly less.

      February 14, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. John D.

    Odumbo strikes again! Will this moron please get a grasp on reality.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. NeptuneRex

    Obama has always told fairtales:
    Repeal the Bush tax cuts for higher incomes-Obama
    Reduce earmarks to 1994 levels-Obama
    Introduce a comprehensive immigration bill in the first year-Obama
    And his fairytale lies are the same: "I can make a firm pledge, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes."-Obama

    February 14, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Fred

    We need to get back to funding the operation of the government and operating a responsive government. We need to stop running a government of special interests. Lets get the NEA, AFLCIO, Sierra Club and all of the other lobby groups out of the process. Lets use our resources instead of letting the environmental activists put them off limits. Lets give people jobs without the SEIU or any other union being involved. Let the auto makers make the cars people want instead of paying people to buy cars that meet the environmental movements agenda. Quit paying people to install alternative energy where it only makes sense because of the State/Federal/Local government give them a tax rebate or grant.
    We need a free market, not a manipulated market controlled by the special interist lobbyests. The United Statest has the natural resources required to not be dependent on other countries, we just need to be able to use them. We send our money all over the world for resources because special interests keep us from using our own.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • John D.

      I agree 150% Fred. Well said!

      February 14, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dana

    Is this really how reporting is done nowadays? Wow – what ever happened to being objective and simply reporting the news?

    February 14, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jubei3

    Problem with the flat tax crowd...make a choice
    1. Inability to encourage different types of incomes. (ex. imagine 20%tax on all stock invenstments less than or greater than 1 year, increased business investment incomes)
    2. Increased tax burden on the poor. (ex. 10,000yr 20% = 8000 for the year. vs 100,000 at 20% = 80,000) flat vs progressive, flat tax doesnt take into account the burden placed on the poor, flat tax keeps the poor, poor(so the argument goes)
    3. reduced charitable giving incentives (why give if I get nothing from it?) cant write off givinings, so these 200,000+- donations to schools and such will eventually go away without incentives to promote them.
    4. too regressive, the inability for a flat tax to encourage reduced burdens on the poor is the major downfall. by increasing the income of the poor you will increase the economy as a whole.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hannibal7

      Best would be a "flat" consumption tax... aka: a national sales tax and get rid of the income tax completely. We are a consumer society / service driven economy and therefore ought to tax at the point of sale rather than at the point of income. Therefore, with a consumption tax we can reward the folks that save and not penalize those folks that make high wages with confiscatory taxation. Making big money is not illegal (yet). The income tax is the wrong place for government to get it's cut and creates a terrorist organization called the IRS and allows politicians to make too many slimey tax deals.

      February 14, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • DCBuckeye

      Hannibal, the God-awful sales tax proposal is one only the Mafia could love. That's because we are a consumer-driven society, and you're penalizing people for that which we should be encouraging them to do. Plus, if you think the war on drugs is costly, the offshore black market (enter said Mafia) that would be created – and hence the lost tax revenue – would make the drug cartels look like the P.T.A.

      Plus, poor people tend to buy more goods/services, so it's especially penalizing for them. No, as bad as our current system is, if we go your route, it would be the very crystallization of jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mike Johnson

    What is the conservative solution to high unemployment? It's to cut more middle class jobs. We went in debt bailing out fat cats. We gave wealthy trust babies tax free parental welfare. Have any of you been paid with money that wasn't taxed before you got it? We didn't ask the wealthy to sacrifice like we ask middle class kids to sacrifice for our nation in a crisis by raising their taxes 4%. This means we must barrow another 700 billion. It looks like the middle class gets the bill and the wealthy get our jobs and our gold. Thanks for voting republican!

    February 14, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. david

    Stop the over taxing. Stop it, stop it, stop it. It is a spending problem. We are taxed thru the roof. Stop giving our enemy countries billions, stop paying for illegals. They have bankrupted California already, and are criminal for even being here and they hate us with a passion. Problem fixed.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • taxguy

      I hate to break it to you, but we are not taxed through the roof. Our ancestors would love the current tax rates. Only one other time in US history were tax rates lower than they are today. Please stop complaining that taxes are too high. They should and most likely will go higher from here.

      February 14, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • taxguy

      I do agree spending is radically out of control on both sides.

      February 14, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jon

    So the Republicans haven't even read the budget yet, and they're already on the attack? Wow.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • John T

      Just like the Dems never read the healthcare bill and were already supporting it? Wow back at you.

      February 14, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
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