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Posted at 11:32 AM ET, 02/14/2011

2012 Budget: Like the Fiscal Commission never happened

By Ezra Klein

What was notable about the Fiscal Commission's final report was the way it opened up the playing field on the budget. It went after tax revenues, tax expenditures, the military, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, domestic spending, government reform and more. Most everyone disagreed with some of the specifics in the report, but plenty of folks on both sides of the aisle were happy to see so many cows demoted from sacred status. The report itself stood little chance of passing -- it couldn't even get the required 14 of 18 votes on the commission -- but it heralded, many thought, a more open and honest budget debate, where things like entitlements and the mortgage-interest tax deduction could finally be discussed plainly.

Guess not. The president's 2012 budget dodges on almost all of that. Entitlements are left alone. So, broadly speaking, are tax deductions (though it's worth noting that the Affordable Care Act took a big chunk out of the tax deduction for employer-provided health benefits). The military cuts are exactly what Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said they should be, and they're really not cuts at all: Just slight reductions in the rate of spending growth. The big attack is on the 12 percent of the budget known as non-defense discretionary spending, which is what politicians in Washington always like to focus on, and what the commission's report was trying to move the discussion past. It's like the Fiscal Commission never happened.

By Ezra Klein  | February 14, 2011; 11:32 AM ET
Categories:  Budget  
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Comments

The fact that it does virtually nothing about the looming catastrophe is a choice between willful ignorance and outright cowardice. Is there really any difference?

Posted by: capsfan77 | February 14, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Kudos to Mr. Klein for presenting this in a straightforward manner minus the kind of hysteria Paul Krugman brought to the report when he columnized that the commission was influenced by "the far right."

Posted by: tom75 | February 14, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

As a state senator, Obama voted "present" many times on tough issues to avoid the political consequences. As this budget shows, Obama is still not taking a leadership position. He is not doing what is best for the country, only what is best for his re-election campaign.

Mitch McConnell gets beat up on this blog for saying that making sure that Obama is a one term president is his biggest priority. This budget shows that Obama's biggest priority is becoming a two term president. The only difference between Obama and McConnell, is that McConnell is honest enough to say that his political goals out weigh his country's interests.

Posted by: cummije5 | February 14, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Why should the president take the first step in cutting social security,medicare, and health care? What's in it for him? This morning I was watching the R's blast the proposed executive budget but they did not provide options for cutting these three huge programs. Why don't the House R's put forth a few options? They aren't stupid because they want the D's to do it. I think if Obama gets re-elected he will begin the heavy lifting of fixing social security and medicare, and maybe health care reform.

Posted by: OBX104 | February 14, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

It sounds like a budget intended to be shrewd politically, which is consistent with many aspects of the Obama Presidency so far. Proposed cuts in discretionary programs co-opt some Republican rhetoric, while making House Republicans and Tea Party types who want even deeper cuts look extreme.

That's all great, but as Klein notes it doesn't really lay a glove on our fiscal problem: commitments to seniors that are too large, a structural defense budget that is too big, and tax rates that are too low. There is no politically popular way to address any of these, let along all of them together. Even the Deficit Commission mostly punted on taxes. But the deficit and debt issues can't be dealt with without addressing entitlements, defense and taxes.

This is the quandry of the modern politician. Do what people want -- in this case, talk big about cutting spending while not cutting spending that people care about -- and you risk putting yourself in a position where you look ineffectual. Do the opposite, and even the people who approve of what you do will complain about how you're doing it. The first politicians to grapple honestly, in public, with the big spending and tax issues will not be rewarded for it, something I suspect President Obama knows very well. The problem is that he's the President now; if anyone is going to try to get the benefit of the doubt for proposing unpopular but necessary things, it has to be him -- and it pretty much had to be this year, not 2012.

Obama and his team had a choice between governing and campaigning. Sometimes it's possible to do both. It just isn't possible now, on this subject. Obama has chosen poorly.

Posted by: jbritt3 | February 14, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Ezra: You get it, finally.

Posted by: Gooddogs | February 14, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

That commission was so brave -- suggesting cuts that would decimate the lives of poor people, especially in the middle of the worst recession of our lives. What a novel idea! How wonderful they were to propose it!

But apparently you think the budget is a "playing field" full of "sacred cows", rather than a life-or-death struggle for millions of Americans.

Posted by: stonedone | February 14, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

That commission was so brave -- suggesting cuts that would decimate the lives of poor people, especially in the middle of the worst recession of our lives. What a novel idea! How wonderful they were to propose it!

But apparently you think the budget is a "playing field" full of "sacred cows", rather than a life-or-death struggle for millions of Americans.

Posted by: stonedone | February 14, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"Why should the president take the first step in cutting social security,medicare, and health care? What's in it for him?"
---------
Because he's the President and is supposed to LEAD the country on serious issues, not look for "what's in it for him".

Posted by: capsfan77 | February 14, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Senator Barack Obama 3/16/06: "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.".........."And the cost of our debt is one of the fastest growing expenses in the Federal budget. This rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy, robbing our cities and States of critical investments in infrastructure like bridges, ports, and levees; robbing our families and our children of critical investments in education and health care reform; robbing our seniors of the retirement and health security they have counted on."

Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America’s priorities."

I vote with the Barack Obama of March 16, 2006.

Posted by: pilsener | February 14, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse

The fiscal commission was a massive joke, just as this budget or any budget without massive cuts in needless military spending, or tax hikes for the super rich, or without removal of our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted by: mtravali | February 14, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Not one single solitary cut until those outrageous, budget-busting Bush tax cuts for the super rich are eliminated. Period.

Posted by: uh_huhh | February 14, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"Why should the president take the first step in cutting social security,medicare, and health care? What's in it for him? "


The Democrats create the horrendous budgetary destruction called Medicaid. If they don't want to fix it, fine, but at least admit who is responsible for its creation.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 14, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

We asked a friend in London how the people were reacting to the tough measures put forth by PM David Cameron. She said nobody likes it but everyone knows something has to be done. So nobody is really too upset as long as the pain is shared across the board.

And in WWII here in the US everybody tightened their belt and shared the pain because they knew the burden fell on everyone.

But our current set of politicians refuses to ask the public to sacrifice in any way whatsoever. Most people would accept slight tax increases as long as they could also see unnecessary spending (such as the $14 billion in annual agriculture subsidies) eliminated.

All we ask is that politicians be honest with us, something they refuse to do. Maybe the Tea Party crowd will be able to goad them into it.

Posted by: MrBethesda | February 14, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

It should never have happened. Not with the make up it did. Both chairman, even Bowles, are ideologically way to the right of Goldwater. Simpson is genetically unable to be obtuse about it and is transparent to the point of crudeness. Coburn and Ryan are touted as an intellectuals and this only reinforces the fact that we do not send the best and brightest to Washington. Their report was a laundry list of let's get even with everyone we disagreed with in the past that won their point. At least they had the good sense to say changing Social Security now was to save it and not to balance the budgets. Right let's cut benefits now to avoid the possibility of cutting them in over two and half decades from now.

Posted by: sauerkraut | February 14, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"The fiscal commission was a massive joke, just as this budget or any budget without massive cuts in needless military spending..."
-----
So you didn't bother to read the Commission's report, did you?
$200 billion in total savings
$100.2 billion domestic
$100.1 billion defense

Posted by: capsfan77 | February 14, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

personally any commenter on here that targets one set of cuts (defense or entitlements) without also addressing the fact that the other sacred cows need to be cut is just playing idiotic politics. Here's a newsflash, they all need to be cut.

The president should require equal percentage cuts on both entitlements AND defense. He also should send up a balanced budget once in a while. It might make him look like he's doing what he's supposed to be doing instead of playing politics like both he and the Republicans are doing.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 14, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"It's like the Fiscal Commission never happened"

It really didn't, except in these and a few other columns. Americans don't care about cutting the budget when it comes to elections, so neither do the politicians.

What part of that isn't obvious?

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 14, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

jbritt3

"...shrewd politically, which is consistent with many aspects of the Obama Presidency so far."

Surely you jest? There is nothing shrewd about Obama's political agenda or accomplishments. His campaign's use of the 'race' card against Hillary was not shrewd it was obnoxious. His campaign against McCain was successful - not because of shrewdness, but because of other factors - Obama's racial makeup (many voters wanted to be in on the historic event regardless of Obama's lack of qualifications) combined with McCain's weak and foolish campaign.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | February 14, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Agree with this post, but I would note the following:

"The military cuts are exactly what Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said they should be, and they're really not cuts at all: Just slight reductions in the rate of spending growth."

Wasn't "slight reductions in the rate of spending growth" what the Democrats defined as "cuts" to Medicare back in 1995?

Posted by: jnc4p | February 14, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

If you are not going to raise revenues, the rest is pointless. There is no possible path between here and a long term balanced budget which does not include significant tax increases. There is plenty of spending to be cut, but not nearly enough.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | February 14, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Always the liberal with tax the super rich? Why should anyone pay more of a share than the next guy. Lazy arse people! Everyone should pay a flat rate across the board with no deductions for anything period. What is it now like the top 10% or so pay most of the taxes now??? What a joke.

And no I'm far from rich. As a small electrical contractor I would have been out of business long ago in this economy if it wasn't for the wife having a decent job. All I do is keep a few guys employed who in the end after they finish with there creative tax returns and the deductions for there darn kids pay about zero dollars in taxes. What a system.

Posted by: racer63 | February 14, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

The Catfood Commission was based on three plutocratic premises:

1) The rich need more tax cuts
2) The middle class needs to pay more taxes
3) The poor need to lose all their programs

How can any politician support any of those unless he expects the US Chamber of Commerce and the Koch Bros. to hire him when he gets booted out of office. Such ridiculous proposals would push the US right back to Gilded Age levels of poverty and Robber Baron wealth gaps.

How about some sane approaches to fiscal balance:

1) Lift the FICA cap and reduce FICA to 4%.
2) Move the Defense Budget down from 53% of the world's defense budget. We could get just as much defense from half the budget. We could save nearly $100 billion just by ending weapons programs the Pentagon doesn't even want.
3) Sunset Ag subsidies just as Clinton and Republicans agreed in the 1990s, until W trebled them.
4) Sunset energy subsidies for Big Oil, the Cheney Welfare State.
5) Get out of Iraq and Afghanistan yesterday.
6) Let the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of 2012, just as was promised in December.

The Catfood Commission actually raised the deficit until 2020 by lowering upper-end tax rates. The savings came by slashing SS for those paying for it now, sparing the Baby Boomers any pain.

These proposals would balance the budget by 2016 and not rely on the next generation paying more in taxes and getting less in services. The Catfood Commission wants to let the Baby Boomers off the hook and feed on the budget like locusts, leaving their children overtaxed with no hope of retirement.

Posted by: AxelDC | February 14, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Stop being fools all of the repub and dem idiots on here! If the leaders of this nation can't agree that we need to cut ALL PROGRAMS regardless of the impact the country is doomed. Stop with your foolish partisanship and take whatever percentage of spending away from ALL. If that means troops come home so be it, if that means poor don't eat so be it, if that means rich pay more taxes so be it! We all sacrifice and yes IT WILL BE HARDER FOR SOME AND EASIER FOR others. Provide a short term goal for the actual reduction and responsible citizens will be on board, meet those projections and contributors to this country could actually be proud again!

Maybe it is a mini depression I don't know but I know the will of the American people will survive if there's faith in a leader who can pull something like this off! problem is i doubt that person is either repub or dem who all laugh at the ron pauls of the world. In the end my guess is ron paul is a heck of alot closer to truth than any of the phony's who we get to vote as president.

Posted by: jdb70 | February 14, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for pointing this out. It's a real disappointment.

Posted by: Beagle1 | February 14, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Obama's Fiscal Commission was political theater, nothing more. Neither he nor any Democrat had intentions of implementing their recommendations.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | February 14, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a follower, not a leader. His 'budget' spends $1.75 for every $1 in revenue. I sure wish my 'budget' worked the same way. We need to get this guy out of office ASAP.

Posted by: bruce18 | February 14, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

This is typical Obama. He says one thing, does something else. Leadership is not an adjective used to describe Obama. He doesn't know how. He's used to telling people they are victims....he's clueless on leadership.

Posted by: Tostitos | February 14, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Both parties proposals are ludicrous......the government needs to be cut at every level with dod, homeland security, 145 other fed security forces, veterans admin and the 16 intel agencies/departments being cut by at least $250 BILLION a year for the next 5 years.....as well as the closing of nearly all foreign bases and cancelling of all future weapons programs....

If both parties cannot agree to massive cuts then both parties need to be gone in 2012......

GET TO WORK FOR THE BENEFIT OF WE THE PEOPLE OR RESIGN!

Posted by: ticked | February 14, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

good afternoon,

Many thanks for your comments.

To your point, Mr. Obama's proposed 2012 budget will reduce budget deficits over the next decade by only a quarter of the amount proposed by his own presidential debt commission last December. My source is "Obama budget falls far short of debt commission savings plan", published today in The Hill (http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/143745-obama-budget-falls-far-short-of-debt-commission-savings.)

Too much spending and not enough in revenues, obviously.

What a terrible lack of leadership. And of accountability, given the outcome of the November 2010 Congressional elections...the shellacking, to quote Mr. Obama.

take care

Posted by: LulingRanchers | February 14, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Ezra finally gets it, Obama doesn't!! As most people realized the Deficit Commission was nothing more than political theater!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | February 14, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Just slight reductions in the rate of spending growth. -- Isn't that the TEA Party plan?

Posted by: baseballguy2001 | February 14, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse


The do-nothing Dim Congress that was voted out of office did not even pass a 2011 federal budget. Just a continuing resolution. Sickening. Nancy and Harry got a pass for Barry. A complete and utter failure by Barry the incompetent boob Obama.

There is not 2011 defense budget never mind a 2012 budget.


Posted by: screwjob23 | February 14, 2011 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Erza,

Part of the problem why he presented a budget like this is the fact that the Republicans have been shrill about spending in discretionary programs (vague while walling off defense spending) while ignoring the suggestions of the Fiscal Commission that covers everything because the WH is dealing with the political reality of the 2012 election. Even then it is not enough because it does not deal with the long term. Boehner gets an F for using vague terms for the spending reduction without explicitly where the cuts are going to be and only focusing on discretionary side.

Even the state of TX where schools are bracing for draconian cuts in education to the point that the districts have to maintain static enrollment on the basis what they get regardless of the growth that may occurs simply the Republican leaders have frozen revenue for the long term (translation: pander to the emotion rather than facts). This has the effect of kneecapping education for the growth of this country in the long run.

Posted by: beeker25 | February 14, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Both parties proposals are ludicrous......the government needs to be cut at every level with dod, homeland security, 145 other fed security forces, veterans admin and the 16 intel agencies/departments being cut by at least $250 BILLION a year for the next 5 years.....as well as the closing of nearly all foreign bases and cancelling of all future weapons programs....

If both parties cannot agree to massive cuts then both parties need to be gone in 2012......

GET TO WORK FOR THE BENEFIT OF WE THE PEOPLE OR RESIGN!

Posted by: ticked
-------
It ain't going to happen because both sides are playing chicken due to their pandering to the base. Every one of the Republicans are trying out duel each other on who can offer the biggest cuts without thinking through what will happen in the long term.

Posted by: beeker25 | February 14, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I think this was a pretty well calculated budget. It targets enough cuts to credibly be serious about deficit reduction without touching any of the third rails first. If Republicans are serious about deficit reduction they're going to have to compromise on things they don't like. These are negotiations, and President Obama has made a pretty good first move.

Posted by: MosBen | February 14, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Folks, voters don't vote budget deficits, they vote budgets, as in what they're getting.

Politicians understand that, even if some of you don't!

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 14, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Well the budget choices are just in line with the rush of both parties to extend unaffordable tax cuts and the extreme Federal Reserve effort to pump money into the economy until it bursts. Nobody is ready to face the American addiction to living beyond our means. But, realistically, the President's budget is just an opening move. The Republicans are the ones making the most noise about more austere budgets and fiscally irresponsible tax policies. The President surely wants to position the debate to associate the negative consequences of moves in that direction with them. He had to take the heat for the consequences of the debt required to cope with the financial crisis of 2008. He does not want to let the Republicans escape the responsibility for the down side that is going to come along with the policies they advocate.

Posted by: dnjake | February 14, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Not to be forgotten was the proposal that the Congress appoint a fiscal commission, which was dumped by the Republicans. Why did they do that? Because that would have been a commission of their peers from both parties and it would not have been easy for the noisy Repubs to take issus with the Commission's recommendations. Even though there were some members of Congress on the the President's Commission, the Republican leadership never approves anything the President does, except that extension of the Bush tax cuts. If the President came out for naming apple as America's favorite pie, the Boehner/McConnell gang would argue that it should be peach pie.

Posted by: ners1507 | February 14, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Why propose cutting Social Security payout without reducing the amount of Social Security (FICA) tax collected at the same time?

(I know, it wouldn't go very far to reduce the deficit. A rhetorical question, really.)

But the FICA-paying workers are having a fast one pulled on them with this Fiscal Commission's Social Security scheme: The trust fund collection amount would continue to accumulate at the current rate of taxation -- a surplus in most years -- while the benefits paid out are cut. (Hence, the current trust fund surplus of 2.5 Trillion -- all on IOUs from the general fund.)

Sounds like a scam to me. It's not fair to talk about reducing Social Security benefits if you're not going to reduce the tax collection rate.

Posted by: pmay2 | February 14, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

The Deficit Commission..... their first action was to ask for a bigger budget! Nuf said!

Posted by: nosuchluck | February 14, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Tell me, Ezra, of any federal commission that has ever been listened to in our history. You can't. Commissions are kickbacks to political bigwigs and campaign staffs to keep them busy in the off-year cycles. They have no legislative authority, and do nothing but point out the obvious. In fact, one aspect of out of control federal spending is all the money spent on federal commissions. Scrap them and save the federal deficit.

Posted by: edwardallen54 | February 14, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse


Klein, true to form is a paid apologist for the Worst President since GW Bush. Klein is just a tool for the Neo-liberal Capitalist Cabal in the still Dirty House.
When ObamanationINC is consistent with the US Constitution he'll Opt for Accountability... as is ObamanationINC is a Corp Tool who's entire focus is Profit and Killing the Working Class. Damn those poor folks anyhow.
Klein - give it up.

Posted by: Darwin26 | February 14, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

hehe, looks like Ezra figured out that someone has to pay for this mountain of debt, and that someone is his generation.

hmm, those Tea Party people seem a little less wacky every day.

Posted by: ralga | February 14, 2011 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Obama just put together the fiscal commission as a little political show to make it look like he would do something about his massive corrupt spending and the Mountains of Debt he has been piling up. It was all a fraud. Obama's new budget shows that he intends to keep right on with the massive corrupt spending. For example, why spend/invest over $50 billion on high speed rail. Amtrack already sucks up billions and billions in subsidies and still loses billions and billions. Can you imagine when its all over the country. Yes China is building modern high speed rail. So what? They don't have the worlds best Interstate Highway System, and most of their people don't have cars. So why would Obama waste tens of billions now that will surely turn into hundreds of billions? Yes...the UNIONS! He'll see that the contracts go to the UNIONS and then the UNIONS will run the whole thing. You'll have a UNION waiter in the dining car making $120K a year, with free, Obamacare exempt, healthcare and a gold plated retirement program. Its a job program for unions. Obama is running up a record $1.65 trillion deficit this year, and won't spend $1.00 less than was currently planned until after the elections in 2012! Obama's budget is a spending and debt disaster!

Posted by: valwayne | February 14, 2011 5:44 PM | Report abuse

That's right Ezra, Obama voted "present" again. The Community Organizer has decided to remain outside and above it all while the little people fight over those silly details like defense spending vs. entitlements and taxes. He has calculated that this is his best path to reelection. Let someone else make the hard choices, while he makes grand speeches about winning the future. He appointed his own deficit commission, and didn't pay one iota of attention to any part of its recommendations.

I will usually disagree with Ezra Klein on the issues, but even if an Obamaphile like Ezra understands that this is not leadership, then there is still hope for this country.

See you in 2012.

Posted by: blackmage | February 14, 2011 6:37 PM | Report abuse

"If the President came out for naming apple as America's favorite pie, the Boehner/McConnell gang would argue that it should be peach pie. "

heh. almost right. The GOP would filibuster and fume about "government overreach" and the "socialist Muslim president," but would not EVEN suggest peach as their alternative. They'd have no plan, just the usual "NO."

Posted by: GreenDreams | February 14, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

If Ezra and I can find room to compromise on the Debt Commission Plan then I gotta say, there's hope yet. Cause I don't agree with that guy on much of anything.

Posted by: scootersays | February 14, 2011 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Wow! If a far Leftist like Klein is willing to complain about Obama ridiculous budget, you know it should be immediately rejected by both parties.

Posted by: BillCarson2 | February 14, 2011 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Do Democrats understand that the Pelosi-Obama-Reid team has taken federal spending from less than 20% of GDP to almost 27% with 40 cents of every dollar borrowed?
THIS IS SIMPLY NOT SUSTAINABLE. You can't do it around your kitchen table and neither can the federal government.

Posted by: backsds | February 15, 2011 7:05 AM | Report abuse

You think if he's reelected? So, basically you are "hoping"?

The POTUS instead of showing leadership, he punted. So, the leader of this country shouldn't actually take a leadership role? I'll have to remember that when you hammer the next GOP President.

This goes along the lines of but he did it to or you first. Neither which are admirable in a leader. The POTUS should put forth what he thinks is the best strategy for reducing the deficit/debt, period. He is elected to be the leader of the country, not just his party. Once he puts forth a serious strategy, then he has the moral high ground to hammer the other side for not trying. It is up to him to sell his choices. If he can't sell them well, then maybe he's not up to the job.

This isn't a game of chicken or see who blinks first. This is a serious matter. Furthermore, it doesn't matter who did or did not do this or that before. As indicated at the midterms, he wasn't elected for his ability to determine and assess blame for national issues. He spent much of his first two terms blaming others and not addressing the problems people thought were most important and as a result got hammered.

You just don't get it. Clinton wasn't reelected out of a deep-seated love. Rather he was reelected because people felt like he as listening to their concerns. People felt like he was at least trying to seriously approach problems.

Obama on the other hand seems more interested in his own agenda and how he can best ridicule/undermine opposition to it.

I don't care who gets credit. I want a POTUS to seriously address our security concerns and budget concerns, period.

-------------------------------------------
Why should the president take the first step in cutting social security,medicare, and health care? What's in it for him? This morning I was watching the R's blast the proposed executive budget but they did not provide options for cutting these three huge programs. Why don't the House R's put forth a few options? They aren't stupid because they want the D's to do it. I think if Obama gets re-elected he will begin the heavy lifting of fixing social security and medicare, and maybe health care reform.

Posted by: OBX104 | February 14, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: richierich39 | February 15, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

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