Daily Meme: Let the Budget Beat-Down Begin

  • We know you've all been waiting for it. Counting down the days and hours like a kid to Christmas morning or a virgin to prom night. And it's finally here—the president's budget. 
  • The big doc filled with $3.901 trillion of proposed government programs dropped this morning, and in contrast to years past, the White House is not throwing any bones to the Republicans.
  • As The New York Times writes, "Republican opposition will again probably block most proposals, but Democrats hope the debate will sharpen the contrasts between the parties’ views of government’s role in society, to their political advantage."
  • Among the proprosals contained in the budget are greater tax breaks for law-wage workers without children, additional spending on preschool programs, the NIH, and climate research. Politico has conveniently put together a pictorial slideshow of the budget for those visual learners out there.
  • To pay for these proposals? Yeah, you guessed it, the budget goes after tax loopholes the wealthy have long taken advantage ofAs the Washington Post explains: "The president takes aim at a variety of tax breaks that benefit the wealthy—limiting the value of retirement savings accounts, a loophole known as 'carried interest' that allows many private equity and hedge fund managers to reduce their tax burden, among others."
  • The budget-that-will-never-pass has good news for theoretical deficit reduction: the public debt as a percentage of gross domestic product would fall from 74 percent to 69 percent by 2024. (The Congressional Budget Office basically called this a fairy taleand of course, Wonkblog has a chart to explain the discrepancy. 
  • But since this is a pretty poltical budget proposal, what do the partisans have to say?
  • President Obama: "Our budget is about choices, it’s about our values ... as a country we’ve got to make a decision if we’re going to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans or if we’re going to make smart investments necessary to create jobs and grow our economy, and expand opportunity for every American.”
  • House Speaker John Boehner: “This budget is a clear sign this president has given up on any efforts to address our serious fiscal challenges that are undermining the future of our kids and grandkids.”
  • House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan: “This budget isn’t a serious document; it’s a campaign brochure."
  • Get ready for some fun cable-news segments about the bloated corpse of American capitalism, folks!

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