Why the budget debate in DC matters

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None of the budget proposals released for fiscal year 2014, including President Obama’s budget released today, have any chance of becoming law, but Matthew Yglesias notes that they are very helpful for understanding “the big picture ideological clash” between the two parties.

Rich vs poor: In a way this is cliché but it’s also quite important. Paul Ryan balances the budget without increasing taxes or reducing military spending or cutting Social Security or cutting Medicare benefits for people aged 55 and older primarily by cutting spending on poor people… By contrast Obama expands Medicaid, increases EITC and Child Tax Credits, makes the Opportunity Tax Credit permanent, and spares the poor from the cuts involved in adoping the chained CPI. How does he do it? Well, he does it in several ways but one big part of the story is reducing tax deductions for rich people.”

Jobs vs austerity: The Obama administration’s rhetoric has long since abandonned the concept of stimulus, but yet again we have a budget proposal for some meaningful short-term economic stimulus in the form of a $50 billion infrastructure program. Perhaps more importantly, the Obama budget would replace sequestration with alternative deficit reduction that’s phased-in in a more sensible way. The House budget, by contrast, is immediate austerity.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.