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. Michael

    If this same exact budget had Rush Limbaugh's name on it instead of Obama's, the Republicans would pass it without debate and hail it as the greatest budget passed in over a century.

    February 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cavermarkk

    Interesing atricle – Will open your eyes to how much money is actually spent (8%) on things other than the debt, medicare, medicade and social security.


    February 14, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ian

      You need to read the article. We are headed there by 2021 I think but not quite at 8% now more like 24%.

      February 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ak

    Reading the comments here, it is obvious that the American people cannot agree on anything. They want the Govt to cut spending but not if it impacts them. They want the Govt to cut their taxes but yet reduce the deficit. Reminds me of having the cake and eating it too – you just cant do it.

    February 14, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Albert Friday

    Obama’s Budget in a nut shell: Spend now what I want to and then the next 4 administrations stop spending. This will be the saving for the future.

    February 14, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Adriana Birmingham, Al

    The GOPs budget is a fantasy too. You can just say double dip recession if either passes. Government jobs are jobs and cutting them will make unemployment higher and the economy worse.

    February 14, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sebastian


    You need to get a life. Or is it that money is the most important thing in your life?

    February 14, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      The odd thing is when one has money the have a bunch of problems. Those who have no money have one big problem, no money.
      Our folks in Washington will never agree w/a flat tax of let's say 50%. They will tell you it isn't fair for the person making 1 million to only have to pay a half million when a person making 26K has to pay 13K. Maybe people will start voting many of these bums out when they realize what the fluff and social programs are actually costing this country. And for the libs who are ready to jump on this comment, I am not saying cut all the social programs – I am just saying ALL people need to be impacted by the costs of these programs.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Seriously? We're going to fault someone for working hard to get ahead and suggest they get a life? It used to be that hard work was not only required it was respected in this Country.

      Frankly, the almost 50% of all Americans that don't pay taxes should get motivated, get educated and get a job. If not how about they simply say ... 'Thank You' ... to those of us that pay their way.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Rob, some people will not only never understand what you wrote, they will hate you for thinking it.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Hey Rob,

      A lot of that 50% you are whining about are taking community colleges while holding down low-paying jobs. Why? To get ahead, like you say. Others are overwhelmed with family obligations. I think a better question than the one you asked is, why do you hate poor people?

      You also play into the fantasy that everyone wealthy worked hard to create their wealth. Trust fund babies worked hard? If everyone, according to you, should work hard to get ahead, then shouldn't the offspring of the wealthy not inherit that wealth so they can, oh, work hard and get ahead?

      February 14, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      Crap, a 10% flat tax would do it!

      February 14, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      uh, taking community college COURSES. My bad.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • J


      You make several unfounded assumptions:

      1) Those making below the federal poverty line, and so paying no income tax, are uneducated, lazy, and/or not looking for work (or better work). We have unemployment at, what, 13% now? Unemployment figures aren't based on people who are not working, but those who are both not working and actively looking for work. So saying "go out and get a job" doesn't help if there are no jobs to be had.

      2) You are saying taxing someone making 6-figures/yr 50% would be fair if you also taxed someone making 26k/yr 50% as well makes sense? Do you somehow overlook that said 26k/yr person would be putting a majority of their income to maintaining a minimum standard of living (read: >51% of their income just to have food and a roof)? Whereas someone making $1M/yr can have an excellent quality of life by paying only the smallest fraction of their yearly salary. This somehow makes sense to you?

      3) In another non-sense filled post, you make the assertion that it is unfair that those poor, downtrodden rich folk – the top 10% – are paying 90% of the taxes (Actual figure from 2004 (newest I found), top 20% pay 52.8% of federal taxes, a far cry from 90%; those same top 20%'s income amounts to 41% of all personal income). Even if what you were saying was true, income is not a measurement of wealth. If you look at the percent tax paid versus a persons wealth, all brackets are within about 3% (the top 10% pay 68% of taxes while controlling 69% of the wealth).

      For slightly more recent numbers, 93% of the financial wealth is held by the top 20%, leaving only 7% for the remaining 80% of our population (as of 2007).

      Sources: http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

      February 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • schoolsub

      John: You said it is not fair that the person making a million would only have to pay a half million under a 50% flat tax. He only pays $327,644 under the current tax code.

      February 14, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jonnyteach

    @Henry Miller:
    You said: "Any tax based on income or wealth is basically just a punishment for working harder."
    Why are you equating working hard with wealth? There are a ton of people (police officers, fire-fighters, teachers, social-workers, nurses, etc.) who work extremely hard, but they are not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. On the other hand, there are plenty of wealthy people who don't work nearly as hard as the group of people I previously mentioned.

    It would be great to live in a country where people actually get paid based on how hard they work. Sadly, this is not the case.

    February 14, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Really, you list a bunch of Union jobs here. If you include all benefits associated on top of their salary it is not a low number for the majority of these positions you listed. Someone in a earlier post said 80K was "upper class". If that is the case, the majority of these folks are in the upper class.
      Also, please let me know a working person who you think is "rich" who you feel does not work hard for their money.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      It would NOT be great to live in a country where you get paid based on how hard you work. However, it IS great to live in a country where you get paid based on being able to give value to other people, who then voluntarily compensate you based on what THEY get. In your fantasy society, the dumbest and least innovative people, who had to work 10 times as hard to get the same output as someone else, would be compensated 10 times those others.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich


      Where do you live that social workers have unions? Where do you live that social workers, beat cops, and teachers make over $80K a year? A working person who is RICH but does not work hard for their money? Try Jean-Yves Dexmier and Bill O'Kelly, the CEO and CFO of Looksmart. They are "working" at destroying their company so they can walk away with golden parachutes. Look it up on NASDAQ or research their history. Would you like more examples?

      February 14, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • jonnyteach

      @ John:

      I don't know who stated that $80K a year puts you in the upper class, but since you're an intelligent person you know that you need to be bringing home a lot more than that to be in the "upper class." Yes, I listed union jobs, because from my experience those people work their tails off yet many of them have to struggle to make ends meet. While having a good health insurance plan and retirement package are helpful, you can't buy food, pay mortgage/rent, car payments, college tuition, etc. with them. Having a union job just means that I don't have to make the decision between paying for health care or some other necessity that I would have to sacrifice (like millions of other Americans do every day).

      As for the rich people who don't really work hard, I personally know a few people who have inherited lots of money from mommy, daddy, etc who don't do anything but relax, play golf, shop, and travel. There are plenty of people in the "entertainment" industry who make gobs of money doing very little. While they may be in the minority, to make a blanket statement that the harder you work the more you get paid is far from realistic.

      February 15, 2011 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
    • jonnyteach

      @ Andy:

      "it IS great to live in a country where you get paid based on being able to give value to other people..."

      If that's the case, than why do the people who give the most value to other people (members of the military, police officers, fire-fighters, etc) who risk their lives every day to protect and serve other people get paid relatively little compared to other more highly paying professions? If your statement is correct, than the most highly paid profession in the country would be teachers, because without their work, people wouldn't be qualified to do anything but manual labor. When you look at it, teachers truly do give the most value to others. Nothing is more valuable than knowledge. When all you do is use the term "value" as a synonym for money you truly show that you don't understand what is truly valuable.

      "the dumbest and least innovative people, who had to work 10 times as hard to get the same output as someone else, would be compensated 10 times those others."

      Your last statement is truly an insult to all those highly intelligent, hard-working people who decided to devote their lives to service and helping others instead of the pursuit of monetary wealth. I could have gone to law school, med school, business school, etc, but I chose to go into education. Just because a person doesn't make six-figures a year doesn't make them dumb, and just because you do make a lot of money doesn't mean you're any more intelligent or innovative than someone who makes less.

      February 15, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  8. The_Mick

    The top 5% makes nearly 40% of America's income, yet contributes only 14% of consumer spending. TAX THE RICH! We're paying the lowest taxes, as a % of GDP now, than at any time since 1950. And back then, the top 1% made only 9% of America's total income compared to 24% today. The last time they made 24% was just before the Great Depression. It was realized in the 30's that the reason America didn't bounce back from that recession as it had previous ones was that Americans could no longer afford to buy the goods and services it produced. Just like now.

    February 14, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Keynes

      If they are making 40% of America's income, they should pay 40% of America's personal income tax.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      That's ridiculous! About 50% of all Americans pay no taxes at all, and the other 50% carry them, with the upper 10% paying about 90% of all taxes (check the IRS data). It is nuts to say, well you worked hard, made a lot of money, that's evil and we want to take it from you and give it those who dont' work hard, won't go to school, don't produce and want to stay home and draw a government pay check. That is what the democratic party has become.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • blackbelt3L

      The top 10% pay 90% of the taxes – sounds to me like the bottom 47% who pay no Fed Income tax need to start paying their fair share. I know I am not paying anymore – will shut down the surgi-center and layoff 65 people and semi-retire. My patients pay cash.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      I think the number is much higher than 40%. And.. I think they pay higher than 90% of the taxes. But, we all know the libs want them to pay more – that is the socialism thing the libs accuse people of "not understanding". Basically, "share the wealth".
      If I were one of the people worth billions I would simply move out of this country. The libs just do not get that.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aloisae

      We do tax the rich. Disproportionately. They pay most of the federal taxes in this country. As far as consumer spending goes, the reason we have the economic problems in this country is that the middle and working classes spend too much of their income, rather than investing it, leaving the burden of carrying the economy to the wealthy. Contrary to popular opinion, you do not spend your way out of a recession or depression.. you invest your way out of it. Investing in our local businesses and development is what creates jobs.... sustained spending will then maintain them but only if people actually spend their money locally, on domestically produced products and services, rather than buying the cheapest product coming in from overseas.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • rep

      @Jerry. What's ridiculous is thinking that because you don't make a lot of money, you don't work hard. What's also ridiculous is thinking that because you earn so little as qualify to pay no taxes (after credits, etc), your lifestyle is somehow more desirable than being wealthy. (If that was the case, everyone would just give up they're high-paying jobs and "collect a government check." Please, be my guest. You can have my piddling tax contribution to that lifestyle if you want to live that way.) Finally, what's ridiculous is thinking its possible to become or to have become or to stay "wealthy" in this country without having benefited (directly or indirectly) from this graduated income tax system (i.e., taxing the wealthy more than the less wealthy) that's been in place continuously for almost 100 years. It's seriously time to get over it.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      rep – are you saying that people without money just can't make it without your help? It sure sounds like it.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      blackbellt, who do you think you're fooling with "my patients pay cash"? What an idiotic comment.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • rep

      @John - I'm going further than that and saying that people WITH money aren't doing it without help. They just think they are, but the country has been using a progressive income tax for many, many years. And, I'm sure folks have been complaining about it the entire time...even while reaping the benefits–namely a strong, stable, healthy country you'd want to be wealthy in!

      February 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Your facts are all wrong. For one, the top 2% of the income earners in this country pay well over 40% of taxes and contribute a much larger percent of consumer spending than you stated.

      February 14, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dale

    I just don't get it if the government is going to do anything at all go after price gouging stop the greed, hospitals, hospital equipment, medications, doctors, everything about the medical field the prices are inflated to cover the cost for three figure salaries and shareholders pockets

    February 14, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beth

      Actually, Dale, I think the largest chunk of that price gouging goes to cover the costs of the uninsured who show up in the emergency room and then can't pay for their services.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • TKO

      Here's a thought ... how about we run Hospitals like a business. If you cannot pay and don't have any insurance don't bother showing up. I'm pretty sure people would elect to have insurance as opposed to the alternative. Perhaps provide major medical gap coverage to citizens through a government loan program, etc. I've never grasped how illegal non-citizen health care is our Country's responsibility.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      TKO, why don't you read this little thing called the Hippocratic Oath?

      February 14, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jerry

    Well the closer it gets to elections the more the President starts to sound like a conversative Republican. The last few years, the democrats over spent budgets by trillions of dollars cramming their agenda down the Amercian people's throat, and leaving the tax payer with an ungodly amount of debt and it will take decades to pay off. Now, the election looms, and the president wants to look fiscally conservative. I bet the American voters won't forget.

    February 14, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • 2FLI

      I'm betting they will forget, took the public less than two years to forget about the 14 years of Congressional mismanagement by the Republicans in this last election cycle. People vote how they are told to, not whether their vote makes sense or not, fracking sheep being led to the slaughter.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maltheus

      It took Americans one month to forget about the TARP. Only something like four reps who voted for it lost their re-election bids, and most likely for unrelated reasons. The American people are beaten and prostrate. You want to live among men, move to Egypt.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Macmaven

      Did you forget how much debt was added in the last administration to begin this entire mess? The banking loan scandal happened primarily on George Bush's watch, and yet nothing was done. Same goes for the elimination of privacy laws through the Patriot Act, yet some how Obama gets dumped on for all of it. The guy is not perfect by any means, but many Republicans have a very short memory of how they refused to act on any of this national debt, or healthcare and tax reform while they were in control of the house and senate. Now that the Dems have brought these topics to light, the Republicans are suddenly America's saviors. Meanwhile, the Tea Party and straight lined Republicans cannot agree on anything in their first session.

      Aside from all of that, to take a look at Obama's tax cut plan and say that they don't agree with any of it, as the main headline suggests in this article for Republicans, is a politically charged travesty. More like this and we need to have the same outcome as Egypt with people in the streets demanding reform.

      February 14, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. goldphynger

    Obama will "take a scalpel" to the budget! – What a farce, this budget needs a 36" Husquavarna chain saw taken to it, a scalpel is a totally inadequate tool when you are trying fell a tree that is at least as big around as you house, Republicans better make this clear to Obama. The big bet was two years ago the stimulus would "improve things" – well that is a complete joke – where I live, only government facilities are undergoing renovations and expansions while the normal people "close-up shop". It is time to look at cutting the government back to a reasonable size (perhaps 35% smaller) and eliminating specific departments.

    February 14, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • DCBuckeye

      Fine. Let's start with Social Security & Medicare - which take up almost HALF of our nation's budget.

      But, something tells me your Republocrat buddies will continue to kowtow to the greedy senior lobby in order to get votes (as the Demopublicans do, as well).

      February 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    The story forgot to mention the spontaneous flood of tears that the great tanned Congressman from Ohio spontaneoulsy spilled after his comments on Obama's budget. This guy Boehner is an absolute joke. He never meet a golf outing he did not take from a coprorate lobbyist or a chance to further fund the corporate welfare that has decimated the middle class and fatten the fat cats at the very top with give aways.

    February 14, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • onepartypolitics

      Mike you are so right on! Stop the corporate welfare, eliminate congressional healthcare benefits and make it illegal for any lobbyist to contribute, entice, or influence any govt employee.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. elidude

    I work for Pres. Obama's election, but i won't vote for him again. He is making political decisions. Cutting heating subsidies for the poor instead of cutting military by, oh 50%? Means testing Medicare, etc.???!!!!!!!!!

    February 14, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      They will have to cut everything and all benefits to everyone to pay for the health care bill. The administration will have to cut benefits from everyone and every program, to spread around some benefits to cover others. There is not an endless supply of money. That is why our conutry is 10 trillion in debt, over spending on social welfare programs, health care and the wars in the middle east, nation building et. The only change was they did not raise taxes, but that is next. It has only been delayed. Our officals are killing the golden goose in order to garner votes, and keep their life style in tact.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • blackbelt3L

      Welcome to the majority – the people who won't vote to re-elect this narcissistic socialist to POTUS. That community organizer job he left is still open.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • PJL

      Not his fault. Bush left him a mess. The budget was balanced and the debt being paid down before Bush showed up. How quickly people forget....

      February 14, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. NewMalthus

    10. Eliminate the Ethanol subsidy for any and all processes using foodstuffs. Redirect monies to nuclear and coal. Streamline regulation of new construction of nuclear power plants and provide incentives for same. Open Yucca Mountain as originally agreed.

    11. Eliminate any power of the EPA to regulate Carbon.

    12. Use the power of the Federal purse to eviscerate Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005).

    13. Repeal the Community Reinvestment Act.

    14. Hold congressional investigations into the roll of the Community Reinvestment Act, Freddie and Fannie in inflating demand and thus prices resulting in the collapse of the real estate market.

    15. Build a wall embedded with sensors and toped with razor wire along both our borders, beginning with the southern one. In the name of national security remove all environmental restrictions and environmental and social impact requirements for the construction of same.

    16 Pass legislation that all jurisdictions receiving federal monies of any sort are required to enforce all of the laws of the land, including enforcement of federal immigration laws.

    17. Mandate employer liability under Federal Tax law for the employment of illegal aliens. Further mandate that the IRS investigate and prosecute the lost income tax and payroll tax revenues resulting from the employment of illegal aliens. Provide funding for the creation of a investigative branch of the IRS to effectuate same.

    18. In the name of civil social and political discourse, legislatively remove the “actual malice” requirement of New York Times v. Sullivan.

    February 14, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Here is a big one you forgot, sell government owned land that is not deemed conservation land (yet). Government now owns better than 50% of the land in the US and this number is rising.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • DCBuckeye

      Most are interesting, but the bottom line remains that they are drops in the bucket. Until Social Security & Medicare are cut, it's just putting band-aids on gunshot wounds.

      February 14, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. easy money

    This budget is treason and America should learn from Egypt. This amounts to approximatly $12,300 per person in the US. Where did these people get the right to so trash our country. Our last election was a joke if this is what we get from them 4 months later. Briing our armies home from the middle east and send them to Washington where they could accually do some good. What is going to take to get someone with some leadership to run the country? This budget is used to buy votes in the next election. We don't need some idiot with a Harvard degree we need someone with some common sence who actually cares about America.

    February 14, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
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