House speaker John Boehner declared the president’s budget “dead” on Hannity last night.
When the Fox News host asked the Republican leader whether Barack Obama’s budget proposals for fiscal year 2012 would survive in his house, Boehner said to be “disappointed” with the president’s lack of leadership on tackling the nation’s mounting debt burden. “This budget’s going to kill job creation in America because it spends too much, borrows too much and taxes too much,” he professed.
The president introduced a $3.7 trillion budget this week that included $100 billion in yearly spending cuts. While the budget would achieve $1.1 trillion in deficit reduction over the next ten years, in 2012, the federal government is expected to borrow a record $1.6 trillion.
The administration’s cuts would affect mainly welfare provisions, including financial assistance for the working poor, heating benefits and subsidies for community organizing activities in poor neighborhoods. The president also proposed a 5 percent cut in defense spending, eliminating tax exemptions for oil and natural gas producers while increasing subsidies for high speed rail and electric car development.
“We’ve taken a scalpel to the discretionary budget rather than a machete,” President Obama said Tuesday. In his State of the Union address last month, he promised a five year freeze in discretionary domestic expenditures which excludes entitlements and defense and accounts for less than 15 percent of overall spending.
It’ll mean cutting things I care about deeply, like community action programs for low income communities. […] These are all programs that I wouldn’t be cutting if we were in a better fiscal situation, but we’re not.
The spending reductions fall short of balancing the books. The White House boasts that by 2017, revenues will match outlays — except interest payments which account for several hundreds of billions of dollars annually. The budget assumes that the economy will have fully recovered by then. Republicans are afraid that as a result of increased public spending and taxation, job creation will actually be stifled.
Previewing the president’s budget proposals on Meet the Press this Sunday, Boehner cautioned against continued deficit spending, saying, “We’re broke.” He reiterated that sentiment when Sean Hannity confronted him with a statement of his predecessor as House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who lambasted Republicans this week for putting “women and children last” when it comes to health and education. “The American people understand that you can’t continue to spend money that you don’t have,” he countered.
Republicans have promised to cut $100 billion from the current fiscal year’s budget. On Wednesday however, centrist Republicans joined forces with House Democrats to preserve at least reduced funding for legal aid to the poor, $280 million in funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services and restore $510 million in support of Homeland Security grants for first responders.
Democratic efforts to reduce funding for security operations in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan failed.