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Obama administration warns the left: You will not like our budget
Made popular 494 days ago in
By Alexander Bolton - 01/17/12 05:30 AM ET
Top White House officials are warning liberal and labor leaders to brace themselves for President Obama’s budget proposal.
Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council, sought in meetings last week to lift the left’s gloom about Washington’s crackdown on spending by promising that the president this year will focus on job creation rather than deficit cutting.
Obama staffers sought to present their budget plan as a glass half full. According to sources familiar with the briefings, they promised that the president will focus on jobs and the economy, instead of deficit-cutting, which dominated last year’s debate on Capitol Hill.
Obama has signaled in recent weeks that he plans to run a populist reelection campaign. He will need to keep liberal activist and labor groups — important parts of the Democratic base — energized for his strategy to work.
In his first three years, Obama had a free hand to suggest spending levels for government programs in his annual budget blueprint. But that is not the case this year because the administration is constrained by the budget deal reached in August to raise the debt limit.
He must stick to the $1.047 trillion spending cap he agreed to with GOP leaders, which means he will call for less discretionary spending than he did last year.
Senior administration officials fear a backlash from the left and are trying to prepare their allies to expect a disappointing budget, sources say.
“A senior White House person said we weren’t going to be happy with the budget, but they’re doing the best they can” given the spending caps set by the 2011 Budget Control Act, said one source.
Obama took fire from the left flank of his party last year after he unveiled his budget proposal.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), including Illinois Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., ripped Obama’s budget proposal. CBC Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) said at the time, “We cannot win the future by leaving our most vulnerable behind.”
Democrats accused the president of endangering the lives of low-income people.
“It would have real-world consequences for some pretty powerless people,” Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said. “People would literally freeze.”
This year, it appears the administration is giving Democrats a heads-up, which goes a long way in politics.
Administration officials have kept the details of the budget largely secret. One of the few specifics to leak is a 0.5 percent pay increase for federal workers. The budget will be submitted to Congress early next month.
Senior administration officials have reassured union leaders that the Department of Labor, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Mine Safety Health Administration, will be spared from the toughest cuts. The administration will also seek to preserve funding for the National Labor Relations Board, according to sources familiar with the discussions.
“I know there have been a variety of meetings and discussions with White House folks on the budget,” said Mike Lux, a Democratic strategist who advises liberal and labor groups. “I know from my perspective of working at the White House in the Clinton years, you have to prepare people when there’s tough news. It’s much better to have these conversations in advance.
“The White House has been doing a good job of briefing allies and prepping people,” he said.
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If Obama is truly a Moderate as he claims, why isn't he as concerned about how the Right will feel about his new budget which will be only "half full" for them, as well?
This is Kabuki Theater, he doesn’t care about anything but the Left and his re-election.
He knows the Left is reasonable and nothing but massive cuts to spending and elimmination of taxes will make the Right happy.
This is not a scientific survey,
to learn more. Results may not total 100% due to rounding and voting descrepencies.
494 days ago
You're gullible to think anyone wants to shrink anything, everyone is fighting for piece of the pie and everyone wants to keep the pie big.
494 days ago
Its not the size of the pie that is the problem; in fact it never has been. It is how it is being spent that is the problem. Was it really necessary to spend over 800 million dollars on an Iraq and Afghan war. The drone attacks tell us no. Was it necessary to create "Medicare part "D"" - its lack of effectiveness and additional cost to the elderly and the government says no, it was a waste. Was it prudent to sign TARP into law and give banks money because Bush believed they were "too big to fail". With the bonuses after the bail out its clear Bush was sending out welfare checks to corporate America. If all of these funds were spent in infrastructure, green jobs, and expanded bank oversight the country would be rolling in cash now with an economy unmatched.
494 days ago
You're a Leftie. At a minimum you should love the spending, if not the loss of lives, in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are both classic Keynesian stimulus programs, just like you Libs claimed WWII was.
I've told you that before. Can you possibly be so obtuse as to not realize that they were what you guys beg for,.... But , of course, you're confused because they didn't do any good for the economy!!!
Wake up and smell the stench of Liberal spending run amok!!
494 days ago
@CliffWilder, so isn't it up to us to demand that "everyone who is anyone" straighten up and get the spending, deficit, debt and size of government under control. Yet, all you Liberals demonize the Tea Party which is doing just that!
494 days ago
Hank, btw great to have you back, you are so fun to spar with.
What about the Obama family's overtly over the top lavish lifestyle, how do you reconcile that with his populist claims about wanting to help the poor?
How do stimulus' that so far have only enriched Obama supporters rather than the 99% fit into your ideal of what he should be?
How do you reconcile his sending troops to Libya, Afganistan and only playing a shell game with "withdrawing" from Iran. There are still plenty of "advising, helping" troops there. How do you reconcile his sending troops at his whim places and cutting back the defense budget and numbers of troops - so that (I know this to be a fact) the military is worn out from constant war and deployment, and the military is about to become too small to defend our own borders should the unforeseen happen. How does this help americans who are being left helpless while Obama pokes his nose in other peoples business around the world?
494 days ago
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