President's budget proposal starts long process of budget battles

Published: Monday, Feb. 14 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

According to Bloomberg, proposed budget cuts would also reduce support for higher education by $89 billion over 10 years. Pell Grants would be impacted by the cuts, as the option of getting grants for both summer and regular school year classes would be eliminated.

The Associated Press also reports that the budget contains an increase in the airport passenger facility charge to help finance airport projects. Under the proposal, the charge would move from $4.50 to $7 to offset cuts in airport grants.

After Obama released his budget Monday, rhetoric from both sides of the aisle wasnt far behind.

House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the budget would spend too much, tax too much, and borrow too much. According to Politico, Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C. called the budget detached from reality, while Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo. likened it to a gnat on the back of an elephant. Americans for Tax Reform called the budget "a 10-year, $1.5 trillion tax hike over present law.

On the other side of the aisle, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said the budget showed the tough choice we need to reduce spending and put our nations fiscal house in order.

According to The Washington Post, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in a statement that cutting our deficit by more than a trillion dollars in the next decade means not only cutting waste and excess, but also making tough choices about our priorities. President Obamas budget is a serious attempt to make those tough choices.

The major Republican criticism of the presidents budget proposal is that it fails to address substantial changes to Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. According to a poll by The Hill, 77 percent of likely voters believe Social Security is in trouble. Additionally, a 2010 Gallup poll shows that three in four Americans believe the major entitlement programs will create major economic problems if no changes are made to them.

In January, the Congressional Budget Office said that Social Security will run permanent annual deficits until the funds are drained in 2037. Social Security will run a $45 billion deficit in 2011 alone.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., didnt pull any punches from the Senate floor Monday, where he said the budget proposal says fulfilling the presidents vision of a future of trains and windmills is more important than a balanced checkbook. This budget was an opportunity for the president to lead. He punted.

After the president released his budget, the Wall Street Journal reported that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said Republicans would include specific overhaul proposals for Medicare and Social Security in their 2012 budget proposal, which is due to be published this spring.

Politico reports that Cantor called the GOP budget a serious document that will reflect the type of path we feel we should be taking to address the fiscal situation, including addressing entitlement reforms.

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