Political maneuvering over the budget

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GEORGE CURRY

 

(NNPA)—There has been much discussion about the big picture items in President Obama’s proposed budget for fiscal 2014. If the devil is in the details, as politicians like to say, some parts of Obama’s budget will mean hell for some needy citizens.
Before getting into the details, let’s talk approach. As I have often said, I am not a fan of some of the tactical approaches Obama takes. I understand that his reasoned approach—as opposed to the meat cleaver style of House Republicans—is far better than the GOP alternative. Still, it makes no sense to offer a compromise position in advance of actual negotiations.
A report by the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan think tank that analyzes government policy and programs, notes, “It is unusual for a President to include these kinds of compromise policies in his budget. Typically, the President’s budget would include policies that are more akin to an opening bid in a negotiation—that is, the President’s budget generally reflects his preferred policies. This budget, in contrast, reflects the President’s position at a stage of the negotiations after several rounds of offers had been made. This budget differs significantly from the approach taken in earlier Obama budgets.”
Clearly, compromises will have to be made at some point—even compromises President Obama will not want to make—but this is not the time to make them.

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