John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


The President is Irresponsible on The Budget

Posted on March 5, 2014
Poster-sized portrait of Barack Obama OrigRes

Here are some questions for you:

  1. The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 requires the President to submit his budget request by a certain date, currently no later than the First Monday of February.  Since 1923, which Presidents hold the record for the longest delay in submitting his budget?

  2. Which President has missed the Budget submission deadline in four of his first five years in office?

The answer to both of those questions is Barack Obama.

It is hard to take President Obama’s budget proposals seriously because he doesn’t take the budget process very seriously.

Under the law, he is required to submit legislation after the Medicare Trustees issue a warning signaling that Part A of the Trust Fund is ready to go broke.  That’s the law.  The Medicare Trustees have issued such a report annually throughout Mr. Obama’s time in the White House, but he has ignored this statutory requirement.

Hey, if you are Barack Obama, all of this budget law mumbo jumbo is optional.

He doesn’t feel particularly compelled to follow the law on marijuana enforcement or on DOMA.  Why should he follow laws governing the budget?

The President doesn’t seem particularly interested in solving the long-term financial problems that face this country.

Remember when he appointed the Simpson-Bowles Commission and remember when they came up with all kinds of recommendations, and remember when the President basically ignored every one of those recommendations, except for the part that called for higher taxes.

President Obama liked the higher taxes.   And once again, with his budget submission he calls on higher taxes.

I supported Dave Camp’s efforts to reform our tax code, but I always knew that what he offered would be dangerous to Republicans.

Not necessarily because of he would do with his tax plan, but rather what President Obama would do with his tax plan.

And we already see that the President wasted no time cherry-picking some of Camp’s ideas to help him pay for more spending.

For example, the President’s budget calls for billions of dollars in new stimulus spending.  He pays for it by closing the carried interest tax loophole that will raise billions of dollars from private equity funds.

I can see why you would want to do that in the context of overall tax reform that was revenue neutral.

But the President’s vision of revenue neutral is to raise billions of dollars of taxes on American citizens and then broadly expand government spending.

That’s not good policy and it is not good politics.

Most Americans don’t want higher taxes to pay for bigger, more powerful and more intrusive government.

But that’s what the President ‘s budget is all about.

He is going through the motions on this budget thing, knowing that Republicans will kill it in its cradle.

Senate Democrats have already thrown in the towel on the budget process this year.  They got the Ryan-Murray deal which helping to reestablish spending levels for this year and next and they figure that is enough.

House Republicans will update their budget from last year and try to pass it again this year.  They are going through this process because they want to govern and they want to let their constituents know that they have a plan to create a better fiscal reality for the American government.

The President has no real budget plan and no real plans to make a plan.

Subscribe to the Feehery Theory Newsletter, exclusively on Substack.
Learn More