Morning Must Reads: Budget Day

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–The Obama administration released its FY 2012 budget proposal today. As Jay explains, it’s really the opening bid in a back-and-forth between the White House and House Republicans that will last for months., You can read it here at 10:30 a.m. ET.  Of the $1.1 trillion in deficit reduction proposed over the next decade, roughly two-thirds would be spending cuts ($400 billion of which would come from Obama’s already proposed five-year discretionary spending freeze) and the remaining third from tax increases, including
ending charity write-offs and the mortgage interest deduction for high earners. (Worth noting: He tried that before and it didn’t fly with a Democratically controlled Congress.) The plan does not include any of the major structural changes from the Bowles-Simpson deficit commission.

–House Republicans had their prebuttals ready Sunday, arguing that Obama is “abdicating leadership” by deferring major cuts and that any tax bumps are off the table. The White House, via budget director Jack Lew, is calling the plan a “down payment” on serious deficit reduction. Obama will make his case this morning in Baltimore.

–Fred Barnes is apoplectic. Paul Krugman is underwhelmed.

–Tony Fratto, formerly of Treasury and the Bush 43 White House, applauds the current administration’s three-plan buffet to wind down the government’s role in the housing market.

–Daniel Indiviglio thinks Obama might be making one of a few political plays with the FannFred plan: Punt, head fake or bluff.

–Greg Mankiw writes the future isn’t a zero sum game, so stop trying to win it.

–Marc Lynch argues Obama swung into the anti-Mubarak camp relatively swiftly and the Egyptian president’s ouster vindicates that move.

–Mitt Romney will rely on a strong showing in Nevada, but things have gotten a bit trickier there since his presidential run.

–A poll shows Romney outperforming Jon Huntsman in Utah; Huntsman was a very popular governor there, but it looks like Romney would eviscerate him in a closed primary.

–Republican Rep. Jeff Flake will seek Jon Kyl’s Senate seat in Arizona.

–Seriously, don’t miss Scherer’s find in Haley Barbour’s lobbying records.

–And Justice Clarence Thomas approaches the five-year anniversary of the last time he spoke in a Supreme Court argument.

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