The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Rundown

Battle Lines Blurred in Budget Fight

By Ben Pershing
When the budget fight comes to an end in the next few weeks, how will we know whether President Obama has won?

Yesterday, the House Budget Committee approved its spending blueprint along party lines, and the Senate panel is expected to follow suit today. Both chambers' bills scale back Obama's signature middle-class tax cut, pare spending on some domestic programs, provide little guidance on how to pay for health care reform, dance around Obama's "cap and trade" proposal and omit funding for any future financial bailouts. And yet, the administration has taken pains "to blur the lines" between its budget submission and the ones being considered on the Hill.

Some liberal groups are already unhappy about changes to Obama's budget, and are going after moderate and conservative Democrats on the Hill to pressure them to back the president. But will Evan Bayh or Mark Pryor be frightened by a TV ad campaign? Are they really in danger of losing their next Democratic primary over an arcane budget fight? After all, the budget itself doesn't actually spend any money or implement substantive policy changes. It's just a blueprint. Even if the final product of House-Senate negotiations includes few or none of Obama's signature initiatives on health care and energy, and doesn't forswear the accounting gimmicks he has railed against, the administration looks likely to just declare victory anyway and move on to the next fight.

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Posted at 8:15 AM ET on Mar 26, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
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The House GOP plan is 19 pages long, including the covers, title page, introductory letter, and generous amounts of white space. It's posted on the GOP's site if you want to look at it:

The President's budget plan is 142 meaty pages of detail and may be viewed here:

Who's serious about governing, and who's just playing?

Posted by: nodebris | March 26, 2009 6:12 PM

GOP leaders announced (without a TELEPROMPTER!) that they DO have a plan!

I've SEEN IT! It's in a BLUE FOLDER and looks nearly as heavy as a book report. (Grapes of Wrath?)

They are NOT on the sidelines! They're in the THICK of the fighting for their SUPERIOR alternative plan which they DIDN'T explain or DETAIL in ANY WAY - before attacking the president for being a centrist who has suddenly turned DANGEROUSLY to the LEFT!

Rep. Boehner (approval rating:13%) led the charge against the President (approval rating:67%) and then handed off to Rep. Eric Cantor who persuasively explained why his stimulus plan involves watching Brittney Spears shake her thang!



Posted by: JohnQuimby | March 26, 2009 2:11 PM

Wow any negative comments deleted as fast as they are posted. Maybe you should change the name of the paper to "Washing Posts". Let's see how fast this one is deleted. Ready, set...

Posted by: Bubbette1 | March 26, 2009 10:36 AM

Obama wins we lose.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | March 26, 2009 10:28 AM

Any Democrat that votes for this in the House needs to be removed from office in 2010. The uncontrolled spending of our government is not sustainable. We are now down to buying our own treasury notes. The plan to purchase toxic assets will saddle the public with trillions of dollars of toxic debt that is not disclosed. Send the banks and bad businesses to bankruptcy court, that is what it is for. We are now printing money on such a massive scale it will lead to devaluation. The rosy pictures being pumped out by what masquerades as the press these days is a joke.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | March 26, 2009 10:15 AM

With the GOP on the sidelines, Obama's messiest fight on the budget will be with moderates in his own party. The White House may have to give up on their most controversial provisions and slog them through individually.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | March 26, 2009 10:04 AM

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