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Honest budgeting

Others who know the ins and outs of federal budgeting (think Ruth Marcus) will weigh in on the release of President Obama's $3.8 trillion spending plan. But I just want to highlight one missing item that makes it a somewhat more honest document. The $646 billion in revenue anticipated from a cap-and-trade program is gone. Keeping it in the budget given the political reality that Congress isn't going to move on climate change legislation would have be the ultimate in wishful thinking.

By Jonathan Capehart  | February 1, 2010; 9:41 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

I am glad that at least Obama is not pulling a 'Bush': since he is not a Republican, the costs of the 2 wars are finally part of the budget!

Posted by: AMviennaVA | February 1, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

what would have been the point? a dishonest obama budget would still have be more expensive than an honest bush budget.

Posted by: dummypants | February 1, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

republicons were using "starve the beast" theory for decades.

http://www.britannica.com/bps/additionalcontent/18/23025318/DOES-STARVE-THE-BEAST-WORK

It is an insane idea that bringing the country to the brink of financial ruin will reduce spending. Proiblem is that government spending is based on actual needs. It is not some scam to waste money. OF COURSE you can find wasteful items in a budget this large. But in general we spend money on things we need - especially medical care and basic retirement for the old. So this insane theory led repubicons to try to bankrupt the government -- it is sort of like the Spanish Inquisition -- they would torture you to death to "save your soul."

So here we are. In the midst of a financial crisis brougt on by another pet ideology of conservatives - deregulation. And we have to respond or face catastophic consequences. Problem is that instead of doing what centrists like Gore proposed back in 2000-- using surplus revenue to [ay down debt, we had a little party for the filthy rich instead. Now Our President and our nation face really ugly choices. Collapse or debt? Ruin or borrowing?
The real testament to Presdient Obama that he is NOT using the enron accounting tricks that bush did to hide the actual size of the deficit during his disasterous riegn of terror.

Posted by: John1263 | February 1, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Saddest mess we have been in during my lifetime. At least the cost of the two wars are in there, but all the Republicans will say is that Obama made this mess. As long as the "no responsibility" party gets away with its dogma, the American people will never know what brought us to this. My real concern is how to get out with unemployment, health care costs (I actually saw a blog in which someone wrote that anyone can go to a hospital for treatmetnt, the law says so.) Unfortunately the individual did not realize that we pay for that in our taxes. We need jobs and I did see some good ideas in some of the proposals. I have only perused a small portion of the submission but intend to read it all and try to understand where we are and how to go forward. The president is going to need a lot of support for this and if we want move forward as a nation, I suggest we read and help.

Posted by: Thinking4 | February 1, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Capehart says:
"The $646 billion in revenue anticipated from a cap-and-trade program is gone. Keeping it in the budget given the political reality that Congress isn't going to move on climate change legislation would have [to] be the ultimate in wishful thinking."

Along with that is the assumption that Congress will cut spending in certain areas and an assumption based on an unknowable rate of economic growth and job creation.
Recent history of team Obama's predictions are not encouraging.

Posted by: spamsux1 | February 1, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

"what would have been the point? a dishonest obama budget would still have be more expensive than an honest bush budget. Posted by: dummypants"

Since we don't actually know the costs of any of the first six years of the Bush administration, how do you know that. The military spending got hidden by every deceitful trick Cheney could concoct. Down stream costs for two wars are only now showing up, in Obama budgets. Costs for caring for service related disabilities ARE showing up in current budgets, and they will explode over the years, and Obama will get the blame. Even when a Republican gets into the White House, Obama will get the blame for medical costs associated with Bush's wars.

Posted by: ceflynline | February 1, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how much of the budget is the debt repayment. Now we get to see how much the real cost (in $$$) for the two wars that were started by the rethuglikon crime cabal who occupied the White House for eight years. Now the rethugs are fiscal conservatives. I could puke from hearing their drivel. I guess the rethuglikon shell game is being exposed now.

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Posted by: ehtyeytikugykryjyuj | February 1, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

You're right, Jonathan, politicians lie routinely about the budget. Leave a few things out and we have a smaller deficit. Of course this year, the smaller deficit is still a record. Any public pronouncement by a politician is usually misleading, like how wonderful the pork project is that they voted for. Honesty--not likely.

Posted by: allamer1 | February 1, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

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