A View from across the Atlantic: President Obama’s Bob and Weave Federal Budget

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February 17, 2011; Source: The Economist | In the back and forth of American politics, largely represented by clicking back and forth between the ideologically opposed Fox News and MSNBC on cable TV, President Obama's proposed FY2012 budget proposals are dopey or genius, to the point or missing the boat, dead on arrival or a serious benchmark for future budget negotiations.

With no kind words for the president's Republican opposition, the Economist has its own analysis of the president's budget, calling it a document of "obfuscations, half-truths and omissions." Besides discounting the budget's projections of economic and revenue growth as beyond even those of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and doubting his ability to raise taxes on the wealthy, the Economist slams the cuts of $400 billion in "non-security discretionary spending" over the next ten years as hitting "worthy things like education, infrastructure, infrastructure investment, environmental regulation, and many forms of aid to the poor."

The magazine reminds its readers and all of us that it would have been much more efficient had the U.S. "rein(ed) in its defense spending, which is currently equivalent to that of the next 20 countries combined." Essentially, the Economist sees the president's budget as a dodge, tossing the issue to Congress rather than "show(ing) a little leadership." This will only lead to deeper and deeper budget crises. The Economist's conclusion is, "Economic management by fiscal heart attack is not a very prudent remedy."—Rick Cohen