President Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2012 comes out Monday. A few details have already emerged. It contains some cuts, as well as a five-year domestic spending freeze that Obama already outlined in his State of the Union address. It will also recommend letting the Bush-era tax rates on the top income earners expire in 2012, and makes no effort to reform entitlement programs.
The Wall Street Journal has more:
The White House’s budget proposal for 2012 would shave $1.1 trillion off of the federal deficit over 10 years, mostly through spending cuts, a move White House officials believe would bring government spending into a healthier balance.
The cuts the administration will propose in its budget proposal Monday would hit a number of federal agencies and programs but fall short of some of the spending reductions congressional Republicans will try to push through the House of Representatives this week. They also don’t overhaul the major entitlement programs that are the biggest contributors to the nation’s long-term fiscal woes.
In context, the administration’s 10-year deficit reduction is less than the total projected deficit for 2011 alone, which the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates will weigh in at $1.48 trillion. [emphasis added]
In further context, the final recommendations of the president’s own bipartisan deficit commission included some $4 trillion in deficit reduction measures over the next decade by putting everything, including entitlements, on the chopping block.
Needless to say, Obama has set a low bar for House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) as he crafts the GOP’s budgetary rebuttal. Ryan has scheduled a series of hearings next week to review the president’s budget and hear testimony from OMB Director Jacob Lew and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. Expect a thorough grilling, in particular as to why the White House refused to touch entitlements. “If the president’s budget ignores [entitlement] programs, that means he is abdicating leadership on dealing with the deficit,” Ryan said on Fox New Sunday. “Presidents are elected to lead, not to punt, and this president has been punting.”