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Political ISH: President Obama's Proposed Budget: ISH It or Diss It?

The Obama Administration presented its 2013 Budget Proposal — and it was met with an uproar. Republicans in the Senate and House called it dead on arrival, some mocking it by calling it “debt on arrival”. Democrats also dismissed it almost immediately. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he won’t bring it to the floor.

The proposal, which President Obama said he expects Democrats and Republicans to “answer in the morning”, is chock full of projects the President has endorsed since the inception of his political career. Yet with this being the third budget proposal of Obama’s tenure that has a deficit projected at $1 Trillion, many are questioning if the administration is even bothering putting together a serious proposal at all.

Thus the real question is whether this budget is practical or purely political. Is it meant to be ammunition for what will surely be a heated Presidential election, or could it actually be implemented?

Disregard for a moment that it would not pass the simple majority needed in the Senate or House and imagine it was instituted as the budget for the 2013 fiscal year. The excessive spending it advertises would burden a country that already has $15 Trillion in debt and pays nearly $300 Billion annually on the interest owed to its debtors. Additionally, Obama’s budget would allow increases in entitlement spending, subsidize public sector growth in industries where private companies could compete, and increase foreign aid which is already in the billions.

The plan does generate new revenues of $1.5 trillion by raising taxes on those making over $250,000 a year, but that number is an aggregated estimate for ten years from now. $1.5 trillion down the road does little to slow the growing deficit now.

Therefore the answer is pretty obvious: this budget proposal is a political weapon the Obama team is arming themselves with in preparation for the election. And it is a great political move.

Every Republican candidate is talking about massive cuts to nearly all government programs. With this proposed budget, President Obama can give speeches in heavy manufacturing states about the money he wants to give them. Incidentally, the states with many factory and industrial jobs are some of the biggest swing states for the upcoming election. In areas with struggling public school systems, he can talk about his plan to pump billions more into the Department of Education. Across the country he can promise new jobs for the huge infrastructure stimulus included in the budget that would help our steadily declining roads and bridges.

Clearly this budget proposal is the President’s campaign tool, and it should be a pretty useful one at that.

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