Bloggers are reacting to President Barack Obama’s 2011 federal budget proposal relased today.
First, a post from the budget chief himself: Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag. Orszag calls on Congress to pass a final health overhaul bill in his budget post, saying, “Congress must now deliver on this promise of fiscally responsible health reform – the stakes are high, both for the millions of Americans who lack a stable source of health insurance coverage and for the fiscal well-being of the Nation itself.”
The American Spectator’s Philip Klein looks at the difference between OMB’s prediction last year and this year: “It turns out that in the budget it announced last February, the White House Office of Management and Budget projected cumulative deficits of $6.97 trillion for fiscal years 2010 through 2019, but in the budget it announced today, the comparable number swelled to $9.09 trillion — or an increase of about $2.1 trillion.”
The Weekly Standard’s Matthew Continetti thinks a health overhaul bill wouldn’t reduce the deficit, saying, “Even as his economic agenda failed to create jobs, President Obama spent a year negotiating a costly health care reform the public did not like under the guise of ‘deficit reduction.’ No question, the government’s health-care bills are driving long-term deficits out of the control (see Robert Samuelson’s column today here). But the claim that the Obama bill would cut the deficit is based on three faulty assumptions.”
Wonk Room’s Igor Volsky says the budget “offers a short-term patch for cash-strapped public health care programs. The administration’s FY 2011 budget invests $25.5 billion into a 6-month extension of ‘the help that states got in last year’s economic stimulus bill with their Medicaid programs,’ increasing the federal contribution by 6.2%. States with higher unemployment rates would qualify for more aid.”
Heritage’s Conn Carroll is disappointed: “One might hope that given last year’s $1.4 trillion budget deficit was an all-time high and the President promised a spending ‘freeze’ in last week’s State of the Union, this budget might signal a change in direction from the White House. No such luck.”
The National Journal’s Marilyn Werber-Serafini notes that the budget focused “more on the economy than health reform,” and queries her experts: “How closely are they related, and what and how much needs to be done on health care to positively affect the economy?” Responders so far include Len Nichols and Uwe Reinhardt.
And the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein says Americans should think differently about the federal budget: “Commentary on this budget will focus on Obama and ‘his’ deficits, but the reality is that the vast majority of this budget is ours, and the story it tells is only about Obama on the margins.”