Obama budget declares end to … austerity?

posted at 10:01 am on February 21, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Say, did you know that we are living in the age of austerity budgets in Washington? This year’s budget will spend more than last year’s $3.44 trillion, but not as much as Barack Obama requested for FY2014, which was an apparently austere $3.778 trillion. Nevertheless, the Washington Post reports that a newly-emboldened President will demand an end to an “era of austerity” that we haven’t seen in decades with his new FY2015 budget proposal:

President Obama’s forthcoming budget request will seek tens of billions of dollars in fresh spending for domestic priorities while abandoning a compromise proposal to tame the national debt in part by trimming Social Security benefits.

With the 2015 budget request, Obama will call for an end to the era of austerity that has dogged much of his presidency and to his efforts to find common ground with Republicans. Instead, the president will focus on pumping new cash into job training, early-childhood education and other programs aimed at bolstering the middle class, providing Democrats with a policy blueprint heading into the midterm elections. …

Republicans said emerging details of the president’s budget prove he was never serious about addressing the nation’s long-term debt problems.

“This reaffirms what has become all too apparent: the president has no interest in doing anything, even modest, to address our looming debt crisis,” Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), said in a statement. “The one and only idea the president has to offer is even more job-destroying tax hikes, and that non-starter won’t do anything to save the entitlement programs that are critical to so many Americans.”

The new budget request, due out March 4, comes during a relative lull in Washington’s lengthy budget wars. Late last year, Congress approved a two-year spending plan negotiated by the chairmen of the House and Senate Budget committees, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), that would ease automatic cuts, known as the sequester, that were eating away at agency spending. And this month, Congress agreed to forgo another battle over the federal debt limit, voting to suspend its enforcement until March 2015.

So what will be the top-line number for the FY2015 budget that will end this “era of austerity”? Actually, the Post doesn’t report the top-line outlay number, and the OMB doesn’t have the budget request available on the White House portal yet. One presumes that ending austerity means a demand north of the $3.498 trillion that House Republicans proposed in their budget plan from late last year. It may just be an additional $56 billion over the actual FY2014 levels, which would make it far below his FY2014 proposed budget.

Let’s take a look at all that austerity in the Obama presidency, shall we? Heritage produced this handy graphic in the middle of last year, but it’s very useful now:

heritage-fed-spending

Outlays for FY2014 authorized in the recent budget deal are still a bit ambiguous in the reams of data from both Congress and the White House, but CBO estimates it at $3.54 trillion. At that level, we are spending 9.3% more in FY2014 than in FY2008, the last budget signed by George W. Bush (Democrats stalled the FY2009 budget with continuing resolutions until Obama signed an omnibus bill in March 2009 to complete that budget).If the new budget ends “austerity” by returning to Obama’s original top-line outlay demand of last year’s budget request, that will mean an additional increase of federal spending of 6.7% in just one year. If it’s just $56 billion more than the actual FY2014 outlays, then the notion that this ends “austerity” is doubly laughable.

The notion that we’ve been laboring under an “era of austerity” is as ridiculous and out of touch as … well, as most of Obama’s budget requests during his presidency. This one has just as much chance of being enacted, too. The Post suggests that Democrats can use this to beat up Republicans on the campaign trail, but the GOP can easily parry that with this question: “Do you really believe Washington deserves a 6.7% raise after ObamaCare?” Good luck winning on this issue.


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With the 2015 budget request, Obama will call for an end to the era of austerity that has dogged much of his presidency and to his efforts to find common ground with Republicans.

Alternate headline:

President is sick and tired of running out of other people’s money!!

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 21, 2014 at 12:06 PM

They know exactly what they’re doing. They know that we’ll wind up like Greece and Venezuela and are planning accordingly (see the amount of ammo purchased by the Feds). They want it as a ruse to impose their Marxist Utopia.

307wolverine on February 21, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Instead, the president will focus on pumping new cash into job training,

early-childhood education and other programs aimed at bolstering the middle class

, providing Democrats with a policy blueprint heading into the midterm elections. …

Spending money we don’t have on programs proven not to work: Now THAT’s a “Year of Action.”

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 21, 2014 at 12:09 PM

DOA. Reid won’t bring it to the floor and if he did it will be defeated by his own party. Like every other Obama budget.

On the other hand, Dems are getting desperate.

de rigueur on February 21, 2014 at 12:11 PM

More bad news for GOP from Gallup

Gallup: Hillary Clinton is very popular.

A majority of Americans, 59 percent, view Clinton favorably, compared with 37 percent who view her unfavorably, according to a Gallup poll released Friday.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/167510/hillary-clinton-maintains-positive-image.aspx

But..but… Benghaaaazeeeee!!!

Might_Is_Right on February 21, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Please, please, PLEASE believe your own spin and nominate the “unbeatable” Hillary in 2016.

Because we are all “ready for Hillary” (to go down in flames.)

Couldn’t happen to a better person.

McCain: Hillary Clinton Would Be President If Election Were Tomorrow

If the presidential election were held tomorrow, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) thinks Hillary Clinton would come out on top.

“I would bet, my friend, as much as I hate to admit it, that right now – this is why we have campaigns – but right now, if the election were tomorrow, Hillary Clinton would most likely be the president of the United States,” McCain told CNN’s Piers Morgan on Thursday.

This is the same John McCain you ALL voted for.

Might_Is_Right on February 21, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Oh, and while you’re at it, please continue to quote John McCain for credibility. Granted, that won’t actually convince anybody of anything, but it’s so entertaining.

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 21, 2014 at 12:16 PM

The notion that we’ve been laboring under an “era of austerity” is as ridiculous and out of touch as … well, as most of Obama’s budget requests during his presidency. This one has just as much chance of being enacted, too. The Post suggests that Democrats can use this to beat up Republicans on the campaign trail, but the GOP can easily parry that with this question: “Do you really believe Washington deserves a 6.7% raise after ObamaCare?” Good luck winning on this issue.

They can, but with the feckless GOP leadership, including Boehner and McConnell, will they? That’s one of the biggest challenges with this GOP leadership team (and the establishment GOP as a group) – they can’t / won’t aggressively message or counter-message.

Germany underwent the most “austerity” but I’m not sure how austere it actually was.

gwelf on February 21, 2014 at 11:13 AM

Excellent point, as no nation in the EU really embarked on anything that can really be defined as a major implementation of ‘austerity’.

The entire argument against ‘austerity’ lies within the canard that the government can create wealth and economic growth via its spending. Obama could treble the spending increases he has planned for each of the remaining 3 years of his tenure, and still not stimulate any real growth. This is because the Administration’s anti-growth, anti-business tax / regulation approach in the name of ‘social justice’, ‘fairness’, and wealth redistribution provides a massive damper on economic and job growth.

Obama is insisting on following the same economic approach as Cyprus, Spain, and France – yet is trying to tell us that doing the same thing as them will result, this time, in different results.

Athos on February 21, 2014 at 12:17 PM

The Germans are also completely comfortable with Centralized Big Government squatting in their lives.

workingclass artist on February 21, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Yes they are but they are more honest with each other about what that means.

They don’t lie about it like our liberals do.

They don’t pretend that the 1% can magically pay the bill.

gwelf on February 21, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Yeah…But most resident europeans don’t have a clue about Liberty as Americans understand it.

That’s important I think.

It’s one reason why the buffoon Morgan just doesn’t get Americans…cause he’s clinging to his superior class indoctrination which is European and goes hand in hand with looking to the King (Or Big Gubmint) for permission and bread and housing etc.

This social class warfare will ultimately fail in America…or lead to civil war because it’s antithetical to the American Character which has stayed stubbornly consistent throughout the generations.

workingclass artist on February 21, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Does anyone notice that the dipsh!t likes to run around saying he has cut discretionary? According to the chart mandatory spending has doubled over the last 20 years while discretionary spending has risen at half that rate. That seems to confirm that the government is just moving items from one column to the other.

JAGonzo on February 21, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Apparently you just don’t understand libtard maths.
See, they decide how much they want to spend, then they agree to spend just a hair less – and that equals a budget cut. And since they didn’t spend as much as they wanted to, that means they now have a budget surplus that they can spend on something else.

rbj, gwelf and lost in jersey have a very good running illustration going on this…

dentarthurdent on February 21, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Perfectly orchestrated to coincide with another budget shut-down/show down crisis for the spineless GOP, just in time for the NOV mid-terms. Give me a break. The GOP will snatch a (Senate) defeat, from a very possible victory. They are either in cahoots with the progressives, or the dumbest politicians on the planet, or BOTH!!

DebraChicago on February 21, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Perfectly orchestrated to coincide with another budget shut-down/show down crisis for the spineless GOP, just in time for the NOV mid-terms. Give me a break. The GOP will snatch a (Senate) defeat, from a very possible victory. They are either in cahoots with the progressives, or the dumbest politicians on the planet, or BOTH!!

DebraChicago on February 21, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Buy the eGOP brand – satisfaction guaranteed or none of your money back.

And, here’s your sign…..

dentarthurdent on February 21, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Budgets do not come from the White House. They come from Congress, and the party that controlled Congress since January 2007 is the Democrat Party. They controlled the budget process for Fiscal Year 2008 and FY 2009, as well as FY 2010 and FY 2011. In that first year, they had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending, when Bush somewhat belatedly got tough on spending increases.

For FY 2009, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid bypassed George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office. At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the FY 2009 budgets.

And where was Barack Obama during this time? He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete FY 2009.

If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the FY 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets. That deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending. After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets. If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself

DebraChicago on February 21, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Obama’s approach to budgeting is one he got from Chico Marx. In 1929′s “The Cocoanuts,” he’s at a land auction in Florida, where he’s told by Groucho to help the bidding up. The problem is that Chico doesn’t know when to stop, and always bids up. Groucho gets frustrated because he can’t make any real sales, and tells him to stop. Chico replies:

“He say seven, I say eight. He say eight, I say nine. I got plenty numbers left. Huh! When I start, I no stop-a for nothing. I bid ‘em up. I go higher, higher, higher, all the time is go higher.”

Obama’s got lots of numbers, and he’ll never stop bidding ‘em up.

Slightly OT, but from the same movie comes the Obama philosophy of work as it impinges on Obamacare:

The Cocoanuts

Athanasius on February 21, 2014 at 12:36 PM

After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets. If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself

DebraChicago on February 21, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Did the Won actually vote for it or was that another one his “present” votes? Or was he actually on the golf course and someone else submitted his vote for him?

dentarthurdent on February 21, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Eat Cake

Dino V on February 21, 2014 at 1:03 PM

But..but… Benghaaaazeeeee!!!

Might_Is_Right on February 21, 2014 at 10:20 AM

I understand why our side wants to dismiss and ignore Benghazi…..Ms. Clinton. Let’s just say the Republicans are using Benghazi as a political stick and nothing more.

The fact still is that four Americans were killed and you mock them with a “Benghaaazeeeee” statement. Shame on you. I know polictics is now retail and almost a game to be won be beating the snot out of other side but, FOUR AMERICANS DIED bub and even though I am a Liberal you need to stop with that kind of disrespect.

Grow up and learn to respect all Americans, or go away.

HonestLib on February 21, 2014 at 1:21 PM

Might_Is_Right,

Before you say something even dumber, you do know that many liberals have played in the sand box. At least my family has. Watch what you say as OUR people dying is no laughing matter.

HonestLib on February 21, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Before you say something even dumber, you do know that many liberals have played in the sand box. At least my family has. Watch what you say as OUR people dying is no laughing matter.

HonestLib on February 21, 2014 at 1:26 PM

I get what you’re saying, and might_is_right is clearly just a libtard hack, but –

Old story from downeast Maine:
Aunt Bertha turned 90 and went down to the town clerk to change her voter registration.
The clerk said “Why Bertha, you’ve been a Republican all your life. Why on earth would you want to change to Democrat now?”
And Bertha said “Well, since I turned 90, I’d guess I don’t have much time left, and I just figured if someone was gonna die, I’d rather it be one of them instead of one of us…”

Sometimes ya gotta laugh about some things – especially politics.

dentarthurdent on February 21, 2014 at 1:39 PM

More bad news for GOP from Gallup

Gallup: Hillary Clinton is very popular.

A majority of Americans, 59 percent, view Clinton favorably, compared with 37 percent who view her unfavorably, according to a Gallup poll released Friday.

I wonder how Kate Upton would stack up against Hillary.

BobMbx on February 21, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Gallup: Hillary Clinton is very popular.

A majority of Americans, 59 percent, view Clinton favorably, compared with 37 percent who view her unfavorably, according to a Gallup poll released Friday.

I wonder how Kate Upton would stack up against Hillary.

BobMbx on February 21, 2014 at 1:45 PM

59% isn’t “very popular”. It’s “popular”.

90% (what Chimpy Bush got after he “let” 9/11 happen) is “very popular”.

Problem is that this new Gallup Hillary result is actually 5 points lower than it was a year ago.

Del Dolemonte on February 21, 2014 at 1:54 PM

It appears that the Democratics’ favorite Nazi stooge George Soros is moving his investments in a bearish direction, betting on a major correction, and moving into Gold.

slickwillie2001 on February 21, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Sometimes ya gotta laugh about some things – especially politics.

dentarthurdent on February 21, 2014 at 1:39 PM

So true….so true!! Great story also.

HonestLib on February 21, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Seems to me that the 0bama Budget (Indeed the entire Reign of 0bama) declares the end of PROSPERITY for the nation and it’s people as a whole.

Only the politicians and their crony crapitalist friends and unnamed co-conspirators will come out of this with any prosperity.

LegendHasIt on February 21, 2014 at 2:35 PM

But..but… Benghaaaazeeeee!!!

Might_Is_Right on February 21, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Speaking of Benghazi….:

Long article, a lot of rehash of what those of us who have been paying attention already know, but this I didn’t know, but surely should have expected:

Mike Morrell, Acting Director of the CIA when Benghazi went down, and likely author of the coverup on it:

In June, Morell resigned. Soon he joined the consulting firm Beacon Global Strategies, cofounded by four men: Jeremy Bash, former chief of staff to Leon Panetta, who was secretary of defense during the Benghazi attacks; Michael Allen, former staff director of the House Permanent Subcommittee on Intelligence, which helped investigate Benghazi; Andrew Shapiro, former assistant secretary of state for political and military affairs; and Philippe Reines, recently described by New York magazine as Hillary Clinton’s “most visible spokesman and the guardian of her public persona.”

More at:
http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/benghazi-cover-cont_782749.html?page=1

LegendHasIt on February 21, 2014 at 2:41 PM

If only we had a separation of powers in our government…

… you know, like different branches and stuff that would keep an eye on each other to make sure no one person could act like a dictator and flush this Country down the toilet.

I know, fairy tale stuff, but it sounds good…

Seven Percent Solution on February 21, 2014 at 3:04 PM

… you know, like different branches and stuff that would keep an eye on each other to make sure no one person could act like a dictator and flush this Country down the toilet.

I know, fairy tale stuff, but it sounds good…

Seven Percent Solution on February 21, 2014 at 3:04 PM

You should write all that down. You could call it a constitu –

Alien on February 21, 2014 at 3:21 PM

No. More. Austerity.

Might_Is_Right on February 21, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Before we end it, can you show me where it is?

2008 federal budget: $2.9 trillion

This was BEFORE the recession, before the stimulus… this is a baseline that I want to see austerity cuts from.

2009 Federal budget: $3.518 trillion
Well we had that huge one-time stimulus; so it was bound to be higher. But this is inflated stimulus spending.

2010 Federal Budget: $3.456 trillion
Well we kept a LOT of the stimulus spending for another year… but the Austerity starts soon, right? We drop that right down to 2.9 Trillion or lower any time now starting the evil AUSTERITY CUTS! … right?

2011 Federal Budget: $3.603 trillion
2012 Federal Budget: $3.538 trillion
2013 Federal Budget: $3.45 trillion
2014 Federal Budget: $3.77 trillion requested (no detail on actual numbers available yet).

So WHERE did the austerity start? Heck where did the Stimulus STOP?

Spending “one-time” stimulus spending dollars EVERY YEAR and calling that a cut and horrible austerity at that… who do you think will buy that?

Not anyone who can count.

Want to disagree? Fine. SHOW ME the massive cuts that caused the horrible crippling “austerity”… I can’t find them.

gekkobear on February 21, 2014 at 6:36 PM

Unless this is government speak for *can’t spend it fast enough*, the Indonesian economics genius doesn’t understand the meaning of austerity.

AppraisHer on February 21, 2014 at 7:33 PM

Bezos has obviously cut the newsroom at WaPo too much.

Poor Zachary Goldfarb could really use a dictionary. Then maybe he wouldn’t use words like “austerity” when he clearly has no clue what they mean.

Adjoran on February 21, 2014 at 8:46 PM

…so glad that the MSM is doing it’s job!

KOOLAID2 on February 21, 2014 at 8:51 PM

Austerity??? Lol really…

sorrowen on February 21, 2014 at 11:26 PM

Dang, I miss a day and a chance to comment on a stupid troll post, and I see all my rowdy friends have slam-dunked him already!

Love Might_Is_Right…….the love theme of socialism nuts everywhere……

itsspideyman on February 22, 2014 at 11:40 AM

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