The Cee-Lo Green budget

This $3.73 trillion budget does a Cee Lo Green (“Forget You,” as cleaned up for the Grammys) to the voter mandate in November to control spending. It leaves every hard decision to the new House Republican majority. And it ignores almost entirely the recommendations of Mr. Obama’s own deficit commission. No wonder the commission’s Democratic co-chairman, Erskine Bowles, said Monday that this budget goes “nowhere near where they will have to go to resolve our fiscal nightmare.” And he’s an ally.

How unserious is this budget? Although the White House trumpets $2.18 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade, those savings are so far off in the magical “out years” that you can barely see them from here. More than 95% of the savings would happen after Mr. Obama’s first term in the White House is over, and almost two-thirds of the promised deficit reduction would arrive after 2016. Pretending to cut deficits by pushing all real cuts into the future is Budget Flimflam 101…

This will go down as canny politics in Washington, as the President lies in wait to ambush Republicans when they propose their real spending cuts. Then he hopes he can cut them to ribbons on his way to re-election. That may be the White House game plan, but we wonder if the politics will play out that way. The American people also want a President to lead, and this budget is so transparently cynical it may help Republicans make their case that if they don’t lead, no one will.