President Barack Obama’s $3.55 trillion budget for fiscal year 2010 is a whopper. There’s $1.7 trillion in red ink in the plan — more than three times the previous record. It claims it would chop the deficit to $533 billion by 2013, largely through tax increases on the wealthy and businesses. Conceptually, the budget signals Obama’s plan to boldly project the federal government into health care, education and energy, among other things.
Republicans quickly hit the budget as wasteful and said tax increases Obama proposes are wrong for the country during a recession. Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire credited the administration for including the cost of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in the budget. But the White House also did some creative accounting with the war, Gregg said, counting as savings the war’s cost over several years even though Obama already has said combat troops will be leaving Iraq by August 2010.
Certainly, presidential budgets tend to be political documents. Congress routinely stashes them in the circular file and writes its own blueprint. Still, the budget reflects priorities. Obama’s is spending the country out of the recession and then some — making massive investments in health care, clean energies and education.
Republicans are in a weak position to criticize, considering the deficit spending during the Bush administration. But by most accounts, Obama’s proposed spending is in a different league altogether. ” If you begin to look at what’s happened over the last month and what’s being proposed in this budget, the president is beginning to make President Bush look like a piker,” House GOP Leader John Boehner said. For those keeping score, the stock market greeted Obama’s budget by losing another 88 points.