Tuesday, February 15, 2011

House GOP lights into Obama's budget chief

I understand not throwing yourself out there for the definite Republican criticism that would follow [regardless of what was actually in Obama's budget proposal], but to not mention plans on entitlement programs--which amount to approximately 40% of federal spending--seems weak for President Obama. It seems like Obama's "punting" is backing away from his "Sputnick" aspirations--something I believe Republicans can take advantage of and re-establish their position as leaders on the political scene.

7 comments:

Ryan Karerat said...

I thought this Dan Shaughnessy article about John Lackey provided some valuable insights on the subject:
http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2011/02/15/red_sox_lackey_starts_season_with_a_loss__of_a_few_pounds/

PBM said...

Here's what the administration said today about Social Security: http://www.npr.org/2011/02/15/133776692/obama-medicare-social-security-need-compromise

On a similar note, Obama did moderately reform medicare in the healthcare bill (Patrick, I may need your help on the specifics) and Republicans jumped all over him, claiming the Dems were "taking care away from seniors" and cutting hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare. Seems like a smart move to not put himself out there yet on entitlements if that is how Republicans have treated him in the past on reforms. He has also never really been the type to put himself out there in a leadership position on the issues, instead mostly delegating to Congress on key policy issues.

Megan said...

Ryan you are sassy.

Patrick_Landers said...

Quick note for now. The Medicare cuts you are referring to were savings extracted from the Medicare Advantage program (which allowed people to receive Medicare-benefits through private insurance plans). The argument was that the government was overpaying the private insurers for what they (the Medicare recipients) were receiving. Medicare recipients would receive the same quality of care for a cheaper cost to the government if they were in the traditional Medicare program vs. the Medicare Advantage program. Therefore the cost savings should (in theory- as in we'll have to see if this argument holds up, which it should) be harmless. I agree that Obama has to consider political factors when showing his hand- additional examples of this phenomenon is how Republicans in the 90's were crucified by Clinton over their proposals to reform Social Security, Democrats getting burned for proposing tax reforms (which the American public interprets as tax increases), and the current Democratic attacks on Paul Ryan's proposal to convert Medicare into vouchers. Obama, Jack Lew, and others (Discliaimer: including people at CBPP) argue that the best (and only) way to address these third-rails of Americna politics is if everyone enters the boat at the same time and negotiates in private.

jwhitney said...

love the sassiness ryan.

touche, sir

Megan said...

Obama's budget cuts are laughable. He was unable to make any tough decisions so when the White House and GOP come up with some sort of compromise Obama will take no heat for cuts to any spending. It will be all the GOP fault. This may have been a clever political move, but I think it is cowardly. I like Paul Ryan's quote a lot. "Why did you duck?"

TJE said...

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/02/the-ever-more-desperate-health-care-budget-gimmicks/71327/