DC Download: Outcry over Obama’s budget

Copies of President Barack Obama's budget plan for fiscal year 2014
In this April 8, 2013, photo, copies of President Barack Obama's budget plan for fiscal year 2014 are prepared for delivery at the U.S. Government Printing Office in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(LIN) — This week, President Barack Obama released his 2014 budget, boasting $1.8 trillion of cuts to the national deficit over the next 10 years.

Getting our economy back on track is all fun and games, until your government benefits get cut or your taxes increase.

“If anyone thinks I’ll finish the job of deficit reduction on the backs of middle-class families or through spending cuts alone that actually hurt our economy short-term, they should think again,” Obama said Wednesday in an effort to reassure Americans.

Not everyone’s buying it though.

One of the biggest programs to take a hit in Obama’s budget is Medicare, and the proposal on the table slashes $400 billion over the next 10 years.

Next in line is Social Security, in which checks could fall by $45 the first year and by hundreds of dollars in years to come.

  • INTERACTIVE: Scroll to the bottom of the story to see more proposals

This leaves even Democrats feeling betrayed.

Rep. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat running for the Senate, released a statement to the Associated Press this week, saying he opposes the budget “because it would cut benefits to seniors on Social Security and makes other significant cuts to other key low-income programs that are vital to Massachusetts residents like low-income heating assistance.”

Republicans aren’t jumping for joy, either.

One of Obama’s major proposals calls for increased taxes on wealthy, raising an additional $580 billion by limiting the amount of reductions the wealthiest can make.  Also on the table is enforcing the “Buffett Rule,” which forces households who make more than $1 million pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes.

“We need a balanced budget that encourages growth and job creation. We don’t need an extreme, unbalanced budget that won’t balance in your lifetime or mine,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., this week.

It’s impossible to make everyone happy, but it appears that this budget doesn’t make many in Washington happy at all.

In a president’s second term, the battle for re-election is over, and the “heavy hitter” issues tend to come out. In the past four months, Obama has tried tackled a “fiscal cliff,” immigration, gun control and a sequester. In each case, he’s been caught up in compromise and technicalities in partisan politics that has gotten in the way of legislation. (Although, gun control legislation has progressed quite a bit this week.)

His budget proposals prove also prove this point: He’s had to compromise so much with both sides, that neither side walks away winning.

How many of his proposals will be meld with the proposals Congress comes up with? Time will only tell.

It will be an interesting next few months, to say the least.


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