Obama’s New Budget Rankles Left & Right
by The Milton Measure on Friday, April 26th, 2013
Since his inaugural address to Congress in 2009, President Obama has made it clear that he is focused on creating jobs for the middle class. However, the arbitrary cuts recently imposed by the “sequester” have hindered Obama’s struggle to convince Washington of his ideals. He recently came out with his budget plan to reduce these reckless spending cuts, minimize the spending deficit, and balance the budget. Attempting to entice Republicans to the negotiating table while simultaneously attempting to satisfy his party’s desires, President Obama presented a seemingly conservative budget plan that attempted to add more jobs and cut down on spending.
Two core aspects of Obama’s budget plan are to implant new methods of measuring inflation to lower Social Security costs by $130 billion and to cut about $370 billion from Medicare. Since Medicare and Social Security are considered two of the Democratic Party’s greatest achievements, liberal politicians and analysts were hesitant to accept such a deal. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, for example, immediately criticized the President’s budget plan, stating, “our Social Security system is critical to protecting middle-class families, and we cannot allow it to be dismantled inch by inch.”
Due to constant opposition from conservatives on different recovery plans, Obama has been forced to play his cards a bit differently. In an attempt to convince Republicans to agree to higher taxes on the wealthy, Obama weakened his party’s two major accomplishments with intense cuts to Federal government spending in order to balance the budget. Thus, the new budget plan appears rather conservative.
Obama’s plan shows his centrist tendencies, rankling both conservatives and liberals. After endless fruitless debates with the two chambers of Congress, President Obama is cutting two programs that conservatives very much oppose in order to encourage other ideas that he believes will stimulate the economy enough to overcome the sequester’s harsh spending cuts. Therefore, this budget plan is merely Obama’s political sacrifice that will hopefully get the Republicans to agree on other equally important matters on the Democratic agenda.
Despite the budget plan’s sacrifice of Medicare and Social Security, there are still many underlying, strong liberal principles as key aspects of the plan. Proposing once again the successful tactics in his 2008 and 2009 budget plans, limiting tax breaks and increasing premiums for wealthy Americans, President Obama hopes to eliminate about $744 billion from the federal budget deficit. He also has put in place several methods of savings that will hopefully erase $3.77 trillion by 2023. His efforts seem to be more centered around reducing the enormous deficit through short-term spending cuts, rather than attempting to balance the federal budget at the moment,-completely reasonable given his situation. Within the next decade, if Obama’s plans are sput in place, the ratio of debt to available funds will drop at least 5%, a change that is bound to create jobs and stimulate the economy. After the debt drops, it seems logical to begin balancing the overall budget.
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