“My goal is not to chase a balanced budget just for the sake of balance,” said President Barack Obama in an interview with ABC News in March. “My goal is how do we grow the economy, put people back to work, and if we do that we are going to be bringing in more revenue.”
The statement summarizes the President’s fiscal policy and highlights where it differs from the GOP’s approach. The fight in Washington is not over what to do but how to do it, and Obama’s approach is a decidedly soft touch with spending cuts. That is, America can afford to beat up the budget a little more if it means faster economic growth. The President has called for more federal spending on research, development, and infrastructure projects, and has taken a hard line on healthcare.
On the other side of the aisle, the health of the federal budget takes precedence over all else. There’s not much opposition to the idea that spending cuts will have a negative impact at first, but dragging out the deficit will hurt more in the long run. As House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) said, Republicans “owe the country a balanced budget.”
The President’s 2014 budget is due to be released next Wednesday, nine weeks late, and some analysts are already saying that it will be dead on arrival…
“Better late than never, the Obama administration will issue its 2014 budget on April 10, a mere nine weeks late,” wrote Greg Valliere, chief political strategist at Potomac Research Group, according to MarketWatch. “It will call for higher taxes and more infrastructure spending, and it will be dead on arrival.”
Obama recently criticized a budget proposal from Ryan that would aim to balance the budget in 10 years. Ryan’s approach would cut spending by as much as $4.6 trillion over that period, with a $756 billion reduction to Medicaid. Ryan’s budget would also repeal Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Unsurprisingly, the President takes issue the proposal.
“We’re not gonna balance the budget in ten years because if you look at what Paul Ryan does to balance the budget, it means that you have to voucher-ize Medicare, you have to slash deeply into programs like Medicaid, you’ve essentially got to — either tax — middle class families a lot higher than you currently are, or you can’t lower rates the way he’s promised,” the President said in his interview with ABC News.
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