Free the Budget!
posted at 7:34 am on July 20, 2009 by Slublog
WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House is being forced to acknowledge the wide gap between its once-upbeat predictions about the economy and today’s bleak landscape.
The administration’s annual midsummer budget update is sure to show higher deficits and unemployment and slower growth than projected in President Barack Obama’s budget in February and update in May, and that could complicate his efforts to get his signature health care and global-warming proposals through Congress.
The release of the update – usually scheduled for mid-July – has been put off until the middle of next month, giving rise to speculation the White House is delaying the bad news at least until Congress leaves town on its August 7 summer recess.
The administration is pressing for votes before then on its $1 trillion health care initiative, which lawmakers are arguing over how to finance.
In other words, ‘don’t worry about the budget, just pass my craptastic bills.’ Normally, such behavior from an administration that promised historic levels of transparency would be something of an outrage, but it’s becoming par for the course these days. If the fabled Blue Dog Democrats actually exist, this would be a perfect time for them to start making noise. The White House is hiding information they need to do their jobs in a responsible fashion and they should refuse to vote on any bill that has a significant fiscal impact until the budget update is released.
Still, this does raise an interesting question. If, as Obama claims, the healthcare bill will actually save money, why hide the budget figures until after it’s passed instead of presenting the plan as a strategy toward greater solvency?