February 14th, 2011
06:15 PM ET

Obama's budget: A play for the center?

Alan Silverleib

Washington (CNN) - The plan wasn't even officially out before the criticism started rolling in.

President Obama's proposed $3.7 trillion budget was slammed by the left and the right Monday. Outraged liberals called it a callous assault on the poor; dismissive conservatives labeled it a debt-riddled assault on future generations.

Which raises the question: Is Obama's budget blueprint exactly what the president needs to capture the broad political center in the runup to 2012?

The president's fiscal year 2012 budget would cut deficits by $1.1 trillion over the next decade, according to White House estimates. Two-thirds of the deficit cuts would come from spending reductions; a third would come from tax hikes.

The plan includes a five-year freeze on nonsecurity discretionary spending. Some programs, such as low-income heating assistance, would face the budget knife. New limits would be placed on deductions for home mortgage interest and charitable contributions.

But the most expensive and politically popular programs - including Medicare and Social Security - would remain largely untouched, against the recommendations of Obama's own deficit reduction commission.

While it trims annual deficits, the president's budget would still add $7.2 trillion to the nation's publicly held debt by 2021.

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Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Pete

    Where was these budget hawks when Bush was sliding everything under the rug.War in Iraq,Medicare Part D,etc,etc.These hypocrites ,who also were around then, turned their backs when the budget spiked and was 2 yrs before Barack was Pres when the recession really started.They all had on rose colored glasses,TRUE HYPOCRITES!!They don't care about any budget,most of them couldn't balance their check books!Check their home states ,most Repubs state budgets have never been ever balanced,CHECK!!Plain FACT!!

    February 15, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Boehner says "so be it" if Americans lose their jobs now they've gotten the Bush Tax cuts extended for the rich, "so be it" if you lose your job or you already don't have one, "so be it".

    February 15, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  3. Skip Pavitt

    This comment concerns the Government budget cutting. Large companies look to using Six Sigma methodology to reduce costs by eliminating "non-value added" processes or procedures. Has the Government looked into utilizing this methodology. Billions could be saved without cutting basic services. Supervisors and managers often say that nothing can be cut, but when Six Sigma methodolgy identifies these areas, they are amazed that this particular "non-value added" process even existed or was not adding any value to the process. I am retired and I worked for the largest construction company in the U.S., and they started using this methodology about 10 or 12 years ago in all areas of the companywith great success.

    February 15, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  4. Annie Kate

    I was glad to see that Social Security and Medicare were not cut; our elderly and infirm depend on these funds and having been told the money would be there for them and for the boomer generation its a little late in the game to be cutting it – a lot of them only have Social Security to rely on and they are too old to work longer and save up enough to replace it.

    I do hope that Congress and Obama can come to a sensible agreement on the budget for the environment and energy. If we could put a man on the moon in less than a decade, we can surely call upon the innovative skills of our citizens to proactively deal with establishing resilient methods to deal with what the climate may dump on us in the next 100 years.

    February 14, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
  5. Ruth Martin

    I would like know why the goverment hasnt put the money back that they took from social security. Instead we have these IOUs small pieces of papers. If they put the money back social security would be back in the black, and not in the red.Social Security is not part of the deficit and never was. I could just see a 69 year old firemen trying to save people from a burning house.Or a 69 year old policemen in a high speed chase. Maybe a 69 year old construction worker. Mae from Ohio

    February 14, 2011 at 7:31 pm |