Politics

Why the Obama Budget is Already Dead

[The Washington Post]

Congress has passed a two-year budget agreement that sets spending levels through the end of 2015, meaning that members of the House and Senate can justifiably dismiss the budget President Obama unveiled Tuesday as irrelevant.

But the White House is required by law to present a budget proposal each year, so Obama used the moment to release an ambitious proposal that relies on more than $1 trillion in new taxes and includes more than $55 billion in new spending. Next week, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is expected to follow up with a proposal that will focus on welfare reform and an overhaul of social programs, including Head Start and Medicaid.

Neither proposal will go anywhere — and that’s by design.

“Everybody realizes that both sides are going to continue to put out their message documents to show what they would do if they gained seats in the House or Senate,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday. “But at the same time, there’s a very strong desire to start legislating.”

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