Obama’s Budget Speech Litigates The Past

Obama’s Budget Speech Litigates The Past


It was forceful, it was direct and it was very pointed in putting the lie to the Ryan’s budget cuts that don’t include any revenue plans.

And let me say this for the record…Ryan’s plans are cruel. He had a chance to lead on this, but he failed.

In any event, Obama said that EVERYTHING was on the table and he pulled no punches today. With good reason. The budget issue had gotten away from him and he was trying to reign it back in. He would reduce the deficit by $4T over the next 12 years, with 75% of that coming through spending cuts, and 25% coming from revenue generation.

So what is he cutting?

Discretionary, defense, and Medicare/Medicaid spending will be affected significantly over the next 10 years.

But hey, don’t take my word for it. Check out the speech…

Your thoughts?

  • kranky kritter

    I don’t think Ryan failed to lead at all. First, he’s only a congressman, not the President. And second, his plan is a legitimate attempt to send things in the direction of a conservative vision that is in no sense new, and should not be a surprise to anyone.

    I wish we could skip over the part where everyone from both sides acts all aggrieved and disappointed at the approach the other side has chosen to emphasize. That’s phony political theater, and a waste of our time.

    • We’ve ALL known all along that the time for bringing spending in line with revenue was going to come. And we knew that SS and medicare were the biggest part of the problem.

    • Progressives all knew that the GOP would want to fix SS in the ways they’ve suggested, higher retirement age, slower increases in benefits paid out.

    • Progressive already knew that the GOP believes that the solution to rising healthcare costs is to foster competition.

    So let’s just fast-forward past the faux shock and hurt.

    Personally, I think Obama cast a winning argument that the GOP can’t run away from. And I agree that it’s unconscionable to preserve the cuts to the top bracket by asking regular folks who actually need and expect the benefits they have been promised to get by with less in retirement.

    But I was utterly unsurprised by the nature of his proposals, just as as unsurprised by how the GOP reacted. Now that part’s over. Game on.

  • Rich Horton

    “Ryan’s plans are cruel….”

    The monster.

    He’ll be torturing kittens next.

  • theWord

    I agree that both sides are basically staking out their view of America but would you concede that the GOP running as Protectors of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security while really wanting to do away with all of them (as we know them) is dishonest?

    I think a good argument could be made that all of them exist because when the other non-plan was in play it was a disaster for many Americans. Screw them is a position, but own it if you believe it.

  • kranky kritter

    No. The argument that they are unsustainable unless reformed is plausible.

    The only part of the GOP argument that troubles me is the implication that it’s an unAmerican choice to continue to try to find ways to preserve these programs in the way they currently exist.

    SS isn’t that out of balance, and can be preserved for at least a generation in its current form with a few adjustments.

    The problems of medicare and medicaid are part of a larger problem of unsustainably high annual cost growth for medical care. Finding a way to solve that is a problem with a larger scope than the government’s healthcare programs.IMO a voucher program is simply a punt, a way to get the taxpayers out from under the expected future liability, without doing anything about the liability itself, which would simply transfer to individuals.

    But while I believe that a voucher program would leave old and disabled Americans high and dry sooner or later, I agree with conservatives that a lack of legitimate competition within healthcare is one part of the problem. Cost growth could be reduced with greater consumer transparency and choice.

  • http://detroitskeptic.com/ Nick Benjamin

    The problem with competition in healthcare is that it’s very hard to get it to work in a humane way.

    For example, nobody gives a damn if you have to drive a few hours to get your Church’s Chicken because you live in a rural area and/or the local McDonald’s franchisee is a much better businessman then the Church’s Chicken guy. OTOH if you have to drive a couple hundred miles to get the diabetes treatment you need to live, and you need every month…

    In general vouchers/subsidies are never my first choice when it comes to health policy. But they can work.

    But this system is underfunded from day one. Private insurers always spend less of their money on treatment then the government because a) they don’t have economies of scale, b) they have to do ‘marketing,’ and c) they like to turn a profit. This means any voucher system that doesn’t cost more then the government system is gonna buy less health care. Period. In Conservative theory it’s assumed ‘competition’ will make up the difference, but that’ll take time to work.

    Add in the incredibly stingy inflation and it won’t take long for Medicare benefits to be worthless.