Obama Drops ‘Good Faith’ Offer From Budget

Administration blames Republican intransigence after pulling back an offer meant to entice GOP into negotiations

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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

President Barack Obama sits with House Speaker John Boehner during memorial service for former House Speaker Tom S. Foley, Oct. 29, 2013, in Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill in Washington.

President Barack Obama’s budget blueprint for the next fiscal year will drop a entitlement program fix he once embraced, in the latest acknowledgement that little progress will be made on the nation’s fiscal issues ahead of the midterm elections.

The measure, which would adjust the way inflation is calculated for the purposes of Social Security and other federal programs, was included in Obama’s budget for the current fiscal year, but will not be in his proposal for fiscal year 2015, which will be released next month. Officials blamed Republican intransigence for the pull back, calling it a return to regular budgetary order, where the president’s budget reflects his starting position instead of a potential middle-ground. It also reflects an improving fiscal climate and the administration’s efforts to shift the discussion from financial austerity to economic investment.

“Last year’s was a little bit different, that the president presented a unique budget offering to reflect the circumstances,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Thursday. “There was a point in time when there was a little bit more optimism about the willingness of Republicans to budge on closing some tax loopholes. But over the course of the last year, they’ve refused to do that.”

Democrats cheered the decision. “House Democrats have stood behind President Obama’s honest efforts in recent years to forge a bipartisan grand bargain with congressional Republicans,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “In the course of those negotiations, he put chained CPI on the table as a gesture of good faith; yet Republican leaders were unwilling to budge or close a single unfair tax loophole, and decided to walk away from opportunities to find common ground.

“Democrats applaud the President for eliminating chained CPI from his budget, and we look forward to working across the aisle to adopt a responsible fiscal framework,” she added.

Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner blasted the White House through a spokesman.

“This reaffirms what has become all too apparent: the president has no interest in doing anything, even modest, to address our looming debt crisis,” spokesman Brendan Buck said. “The one and only idea the president has to offer is even more job-destroying tax hikes, and that non-starter won’t do anything to save the entitlement programs that are critical to so many Americans. With three years left in office, it seems the president is already throwing in the towel.”

In the wake of the 2012 “fiscal cliff” negotiations, Obama included the so-called chained-consumer price index in his offer to Congress, fulfilling what the administration says was one of two main Republican demands for a grand bargain. At the time, the White House said the offer was conditional on broad-based tax reform that never came about. Now Obama is pulling back his hand, and abandoning a policy shift that was anathema to a large swath of Democrats who have built their political identities around defending entitlement programs.

The budgetary fix was estimated by the White House to save $230 billion over a decade, but the White House says that regardless, Obama’s budget, owing partly to rosier economic predictions, will project the federal budget deficit at under two percent of GDP within 10 years. Senior administration officials said the recovering economy and improving fiscal picture lessened the imperative for swift action on entitlement reforms, but they acknowledged that action will eventually have to be taken to ensure the sustainability of social insurance programs.

Obama’s budget will also include $56 billion in additional federal spending, split evenly between defense and non-defense programs. Senior administration officials declined to preview the entirely offering, but said Obama will call for additional manufacturing institutes and a “race to the top” program to incentivize states and localities to embrace energy efficiency legislation. The president will also repeat his call from last year’s budget to extend pre-k education, paid for partly by higher taxes on tobacco products.

82 comments
Whatanotion
Whatanotion

Is this the same "Looming" debt crisis that has been with us since the Viet-Nam war ..err Police - Action.  If the debt is soo looming why do we keep getting into conflicts involving sexual inequality, or nation building, or pre-emtive strikes, when we suffer from the same or worse; and, Why is that intel leaking traitor still alive?

manlyman
manlyman

5 yrs and counting. With a super majority the first 2 yrs. A super majority that was in place 2 yrs before the "king" was ushered in. A little one third congress should not possibly be able to tie the hands of such an awesome  "leader". Especially with a gop that is becoming more spineless and impotent by day. How could anyone, no matter how deep their admiration, no matter how palpable their hatred for the other party, possibly defend and excuse this man? One must be totally void of any semblance of morality, and lack the slightest inkling of common sense, to even vote for this poisonous reptile much less continue to defend him. 


Good faith!? What? 2 words not found in the liberal dictionary, along with honesty, integrity and decency etc. If I had ever defended this barbarian even once, I would hang my head in utter shame and look for a really tall building to jump from.

SamuelYap
SamuelYap

The Repubs still don't get it. Economocs 101 will tell you that in time of crisis, budget deficit takes the backseat to pump priming the economy, investing in it to make it grow bigger. You first pamper the goose that lays the golden eggs, so she can lay more eggs, not starve her to debt, which will result in zero egg production. Got it, Repubs? Of course you do, but it is your earnest desire to pull Obama down that shields your eyes from the facts. Beside what is so bad about a deficit, especially if it is in terms of your own currency, which you control?

barneydidit
barneydidit

“The one and only idea the president has to offer is even more job-destroying tax hikes,"  So if tax hikes are by definition- "job destroying" then the converse- tax cuts must be "job creators".  Now as soon as a Conservative shows me some data backing that idea up, I'll be happy to agree. 



RobertNguyen
RobertNguyen

Lets the dogs bark, the President must move the nation forward...That's what he was elected not ONCE but TWICE to do...

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

I remember just after the 2012 elections that almost every single Republican stated quite clearly that "they got the message."  The message was that the American people wanted them to work with Democrats and actually get things done.

Looks like they forgot.

Typically We the People send at least 90% of incumbents back to Washington to "represent" us and do their job's which is to promote the general welfare and work for the prosperity of this nation.  Odd isn't it?  We reward incompetence and failure.  This so being, we have the government we deserve.

If this government and your current representative doesn't meet your expectations or represent you in the manner you think he/she should don't send them back!  Send a new guy.  Let's see if the GOP gets that message.

MrObvious
MrObvious

Good,

What's the point of a Good faith addition if you have a bunch of yahoos that want to take you over the cliff when the bills comes due, threaten to impeach over the most frivolous reason and demand the whole kitchen sink for what should be in 'good faith'.


bobcn
bobcn

TPM has an excellent analysis at:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/how-tea-party-absolutism-cost-republicans-a-huge-win-on-entitlements

The title, "How Tea Party Absolutism Cost The GOP A Huge Win On Entitlements", tells it all.  The article notes that Boehner walked away from a deal for $800B in taxes in exchange for chained CPI due to TP push back.  Instead of getting the cut in Social Security that the gop wanted, they gave up $650B in taxes anyway (in the  end-of-2012 fiscal cliff deal) and got nothing in return on entitlements. 

barneydidit
barneydidit

@manlyman Some of us at least try to create the appearance of getting our facts correct before posting manly...you should try it as a change of pace if nothing else. Prior to the 08 election, the Democrats had a ONE VOTE majority in the Senate...clearly not a supermajority. And as Pia points out, due to the Republican's refusal to declare Al Franken the winner in his state, and then the illness of Ted Kennedy, they only had a supermajority from 08 to 10 for a total of about 4 months.

Pia
Pia

@manlyman  

The Dems did not have a supermajority the first two yrs. They had about 14 weeks because there was all of that filibuster. So...I don't think Obama did such a terrible job. Least we forget he took over one of the worst economies since the Great Depression. I think he did a decent job considering what he had to work with. I mean things could be worse. That said, I don't want another Dem president,  and especially not HRC. The Dems think she deserves the presidency and expect it to be handed to her on a silver platter.

Not going to jump off any buildings!


The last time I saw a name similar to yours was when I watched re-runs of Little House on the Prairie. One of the main characters was "Manly" short for Almanzo. Are you him? lol The actor who portrayed him :)

Energene
Energene

@SamuelYap obama has not just spent too much money, he has out spent all the other Presidents combined, wrecked this country, wrecked our currency and put us within weeks of martial law. Uninformed mass media brain washed people like you run around with falsehoods in your worthless head.

manlyman
manlyman

@SamuelYap  Make no mistake samyap. We do want to pull him down. The survival of our great country depends on it. 

jmac
jmac

@SamuelYap  At least we have Yellen heading the FEd.   She understood the 2007 crisis and what caused it and what was needed to get the economy going.  Now if the Wall Street Journal editors,  Republicans, and those conservative Feds who only worry about inflation could  buy a clue we could get things moving.   (I joke).  


Greed trumps just about anything, especially when you rely on those who are greedy to keep your job.  

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@barneydidit

And the one and only idea the GOP has is cutting spending.  In this case to those on fixed incomes.

Hmmm...looks like they could meet in the middle with a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts.  Like Bowles/Simpson suggest. 

bobcn
bobcn

@RobertNguyen  

"Let the dogs bark" would be a good motto for him to choose for the rest of his administration.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@bobcn  There you go again Mr Bobcn. There you go again. By the way, I do owe you an apology. I read your postings again and not found a rude word. I was too hasty. 


AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@bobcn

Excellent article.

One has to wonder why the GOP isn't thinking in terms of protecting the retired older generation who worked an entire lifetime and paid into a program that they rely heavily on now. 


LeahPetersen
LeahPetersen

@john_ramboDo you even know what that word means? 


despot. (n) 1.a king or other ruler with absolute, unlimited power; autocrat.

Yeah, that's exactly what's happening. No one is preventing him from wielding absolute power and getting everything he and his supporters want. #eyeroll 

manlyman
manlyman

@barneydidit @manlyman  ohhh! Well that changes everything! Not. A lame response at best. Trying to create the appearance... that pretty much sums up liberalism. Pia you and jmac must be sisters. You both seem to suffer the same brain deficiency. And barney? Your stupidity(and lack of integrity) speaks for itself.


5 years people!The greatest "leader" in the history of mankind has had 5 years! Time to turn off the excuse machine.

barneydidit
barneydidit

@reallife @barneydidit  You're confusing a lack of lucid arguments from people on your side of the aisle with a lack of political flexibility on my part reallife. 

jason024
jason024

@ReneDemonteverde @AlphaJuliette

@ReneDemonteverde @AlphaJulietteSo why should Republicans/Conservatives cooperate and hasten not only their party demise  

---------

About time you admitted it Rene....your political brand of hate and ignorance is going the way of the dodo. 

Maybe if the GOP cooperated they would get more votes during presidential elections. Hmm what a thought. 

For all the whining you do about the liberal media and moochers, if you actually had a feasible plan that could help solve the immigration problem  perhaps people would take you more seriously.

jmac
jmac

@ReneDemonteverde @AlphaJuliette  Since when is asking Republicans to close loopholes that allow Mitt Romney and his ilk to pay zero in income tax moving to the left?


 Since when is asking for a change in the tax codes so corporations can't shift their profits to banks overseas to evade taxes moving to the left?


Since nut cases took over the Republican party.  You're the problem Rene.   Obama was willing to hit his base with the chained CPI and all he asked in return was something every American could be for - but any compromise to you is not acceptable.


So be it. 

MrObvious
MrObvious

Rene

Asking you to grow is probably a suggestion you'll take to the grave.

jmac
jmac

@ReneDemonteverde @bobcn  There he goes again offering facts and a link?  How about some facts and link from you?   You are representing the Tea Party here.   No conservative voice is on except you and realife.   Can't you at least offer something of substance?   Otherwise, you're not doing your party any favors.   You're enhancing the Political Wisdom  that you are the conservative party of today.   You make us liberals look good.  

bobcn
bobcn

@AlphaJuliette @bobcn  

"One has to wonder why the GOP isn't thinking in terms of protecting the retired older generation who worked an entire lifetime and paid into a program that they rely heavily on now"

That would make them Democrats.


manlyman
manlyman

@barneydidit @manlyman  I'm thinking I was way more accurate than you would ever admit, especially in terms of your integrity and common sense. In short: if you support this piece of trash pres in the least, your character should be questoned to the fullest. 

jmac
jmac

@ReneDemonteverde  Yesterday in Georgia on a discussion of immigration:  Growers, farmers, manufacturers and hotelkeepers are becoming more outspoken about their urgent need for immigrants to do low wage jobs. 


It's your party and the Chamber of Commerce that wants them here, Rene.   Texas says it's restaurants would go belly up without them - the economy would crash.   Obama has deported far more immigrants than any Republican president.  The Republicans insist we need them and then make the puny excuse that they don't want to go through the "sausage-making" in an election year to figure out how to have them.  


No Republican is going to send them home when they're saying we need them.  Increase fines for those who hire them?  You're a joke.   Your party is the one who keeps us from fining businesses that hire them - that would hurt businesses they cry - and from making sure we can track them.   They want them here - and they want them here as slave labor.  


That's not the American way and hopefully never will be - regardless of your party's greed and your ignorance in covering for them.  


 

jmac
jmac

@ahandout @reallife  Plowing money into your church is not productivity.  It's making your mansion in the sky in Utah even more secretive and fraternal.   It's not paying income taxes to help the government make sure our rivers are clean, our air is healthy, are children are educated, our medicines and meat are safe.  

bobcn
bobcn

@ahandout @bobcn  

ahandout,

So this is your response to my refutation of the false statement that 50% pay ''NO TAXES"?  And then you call me a liar?  To begin with, nowhere do you even suggest that 50% pay no taxes.  But lets take a look at the rest of what you wrote.

Your first bullet states "the poorest fifth of households paid a stunning 12.3 percent of their incomes in state and local taxes in 2011".  Doesn't prove that i'm a liar does it?  Actually, it supports my argument, doesn't it? 

Your second bullet repeats what I wrote in my first and second bullets.

You haven't proven that "50% pay no taxes".  Far from it.  You've helped me prove my point.

Your shouting about the EITC is interesting, but probably not in the way you intended.  You don't understand how the EITC refundable tax credit works do you? It's rarely a $5000 check (even for the specific family you cite -- who would have to be making an adjusted gross income of around $20,000 for a credit of $5000.  

The credit is applied against the recipient's federal tax liability first.  What's left (if anything) becomes a  refunded subsidy to that poor person or family.  Your hypothetical family of four would have a federal tax liability of slightly more than $2000.  So their EITC refund would be around $3000.   NOT the 25% of their gross (or even their net) and not the $5000 that you shouted.  And they would still be paying payroll, state, and local taxes, as you yourself admit.

You haven't proven that "50% pay NO TAXES" have you?

Before you start shouting that someone is a liar maybe you should take the time to understand what it is that you are talking about.  It makes you look foolish when you don't.

Nice try, though.

bobcn
bobcn

@reallife  

"everybody knows what I said - everybody has to pay their "fair share", not just the rich - but go ahead keep trying to obfuscate the truth"

Everybody can see that I quoted you exactly word-for-word accurately.  The only thing I left out of your quote was the childish insult you used at the end. And you claim that that's obfuscation???

You made a false statement.  I refuted it with supported facts.  One of us is being honest here and the other clearly isn't.  Fair minded people will be able to tell which is which.  And, of course, the spitters and trolls won't care.

bobcn
bobcn

@reallife @jmac @ReneDemonteverde @AlphaJuliette  

"how about asking the 50% that pays NO TAXES to pay their "fair share""

You need to work on your right-wing 'bash the poor' rhetoric a bit.  Let me help you out with that.  You're not supposed to say that they 'pay no taxes'.  None of the gopers that use this attack say that.  What they say is that they pay 'no income taxes'.  Here's why:

The only people who come close to paying no taxes are mostly students and retirees.  And even they pay state and local taxes and fees.

When you say 'all taxes' (as you did), you are including income taxes, payrol. taxes, state//local taxes, and various fees (such as auto registration). Then you find:

  • the bottom fifth of households pays about 16 percent of their incomes in taxes, on average
  • The second-poorest fifth pays about 21 percent.
And, we should be able to agree, every single dollar to the working poor is certainly dearer than it is to the wealthy, since it's much more likely to be the difference between eating or shelter or not.  Most of  the working poor would be happy to pay the percent of their income that Romney claimed he paid.

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3505

jmac
jmac

@manlyman @jmac @ReneDemonteverde @AlphaJuliette  Well, manlyman, you'll have to ask Romney.   He released only TWO income taxes - saying he paid 15% (I pay more than that).   His Republican opponent's father (Huntsman) told Harry Reid that the reason Romney couldn't release any more was because he paid zero the pervious years.


Romney never released those eight income tax results as he made his running mate, Ryan, release ten years.   Every president running has released ten years.  Not Romney.  


By the Way, men that have to brag they are macho - usually aren't.  

bobcn
bobcn

@ARTRaveler @mantisdragon91 @ReneDemonteverde  

It always makes me laugh when people who have never served start lecturing people who have about how they, as service members, should think and act.

More than once I've had a winger who had never served (after the apparently mandatory -- but not exactly heartfelt -- "thank you for your service") tell me that I don't understand the military but he does.

I'm not quite sure where they're getting their information from.  Steven Segal movies?  Old Rambo reruns?  Reagan's and John Wayne's and Schwarzenegger's selfless bravery and personal sacrifice in the battle of Hollywood?

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

@mantisdragon91 @ReneDemonteverde Since Iraq had NOTHING to do with 9/11, not attacking them would have been the correct thing to do.  The nuclear inspectors were doing their job, the WMDs existed only in the back of President Cheney's small mind, and cutting troop levels in Afghanistan caused a small war to run for 12 years to make Cheney and his companies rich.  Damn right, we shouldn't have attacked Iraq. 

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ReneDemonteverde Your ignorance shows yet again. None of the Democrats recommended that we invade Iraq. In fact if a Democrat was president the Iraq War would never have happened.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@manlyman @mantisdragon91@ReneDemonteverdeYep they died cleaning up the fact that GWB invaded Afghanistan and than stripped the country of troops to pursue a pointless war in Iraq. But I guess mentioning that easily verified fact does not advance the winger agenda.

manlyman
manlyman

@mantisdragon91 @ReneDemonteverde Save it mantsyboy. A true friend of the troops would not have his head buried up bo's a$$ 24/7. That's one of many dead giveaways right there.

As with most liberals, only the dead troops on Bush's watch really count.

We still lose troops, many have died on this punk-prez's watch, but we barely hear about them. They don't advance the liberal agenda.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ReneDemonteverde I don't blame the military for my friends death. I blame the idiot Bush, who sent them into a useless war, with inadequate equipment and then disbanded the Iraqi Army sending tens of thousands of angry armed men with no way to support their families into the streets. The military didn't kill my friends.  Morons like Bush and Chicken Hawks like Cheney and Rumsfeld did.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

10 year old kid? That would have made me how old when I served in Desert Storm in 91?