Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
Latest posts by Jim Lakely (see all)
President Obama is releasing his 2012 budget Monday morning, and details have been leaked to the press. According to The Wall Street Journal, he has little to propose other than his ballyhooed freezing of already-hiked-up spending proposals for five years. Says The Journal:
President Barack Obama’s budget proposal for 2012 sets up a clash with Republicans over a narrow slice of federal spending—the 15% devoted to discretionary programs unrelated to security and defense—while the entitlement programs that are driving projected federal deficits remain unaddressed by either party.
Isn’t that an interesting lead construction. No Democrats — let alone the president — have even hinted at reining in entitlement spending, let alone have admitted that huge cuts in entitlements are necessary to finally get Uncle Sam’s fiscal house in order. Fiscal conservatives in Congress have. Yet, according to The WSJ’s news division, entitlement reform is “unaddressed by either party.”
For one, the House’s budget always comes after the president’s, so it is logical that entitlements are “officially” unaddressed by the new Republican majority — and new House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. So that lead by reporters Jonathan Weisman and Naftali Bendavid seems a little cheap. At least conservatives in Congress are talking about it. Let’s see what they come up with in the course of 2011.
The White House’s budget proposal for 2012 would shave $1.1 trillion off of the federal deficit over 10 years, mostly through spending cuts, a move White House officials believe would bring government spending into a healthier balance.
The cuts the administration will propose in its budget proposal Monday would hit a number of federal agencies and programs but fall short of some of the spending reductions congressional Republicans will try to push through the House of Representatives this week.They also don’t overhaul the major entitlement programs that are the biggest contributors to the nation’s long-term fiscal woes.
In context, the administration’s 10-year deficit reduction is less than the total projected deficit for 2011 alone, which the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates will weigh in at $1.48 trillion.
We can’t count on the MSM to emphasize what Andrew noted above, because the MSM is peopled by hacks for liberalism and the administration. But a proper lead for Obama’s budget would go something like this:
President Barack Obama’s 2012 budget proposal, which the White House described as a “down payment” on fiscal austerity, proposes reducing the deficit over 10 years by less than what the deficit is projected to be in 2011 alone.
Obama’s budget does nothing to rein in entitlements — which represent by far the greatest obligation of the federal budget — and also leaves in place the administration’s cost projections for “Obamacare,” which independent actuaries say are greatly underestimated.
What you see above is how I’d have written the lead when I was still covering the White House for The Washington Times. And my friend The Other McCain (a former TWT news editor who I saw again at CPAC 2011) would have given me a high-five for it.