Obama Pushes for Billions More in Spending, No Budget Compromise

Image: Obama Pushes for Billions More in Spending, No Budget Compromise

Friday, 21 Feb 2014 08:11 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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President Obama is going back on his promise to compromise on reducing the federal debt with a budget proposal for 2015 that would increase spending by $56 billion.

His move, an apparent effort to bolster Democrats in this fall's midterm elections, abandons the "grand bargain" he offered last year to appease Republicans, The Washington Post reports.  He had promised to put a lid on spiraling retirement spending by reducing cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients in return for an increase in taxes on the richest Americans.

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Obama's 2015 budget proposes increased spending on programs to bolster the middle class, including funding for early-childhood education initiatives and job training.

As budget details leaked out, a spokesman for GOP House Speaker John Boehner said it's more proof the president never intended to make good on his promise to work across party lines to trim the deficit.

"This reaffirms what has become all too apparent: the president has no interest in doing anything, even modest, to address our looming debt crisis," said Brendan Buck in a statement. "The one and only idea the president has to offer is even more job-destroying tax hikes, and that nonstarter won't do anything to save the entitlement programs that are critical to so many Americans."

The White House pointed the finger at the GOP for Obama's shift, The New York Times reports.

"There was a point in time when there was a little bit more optimism about the willingness of Republicans to budge on closing some tax loopholes," Josh Earnest, a White House deputy press secretary, tells the Times. "But over the course of the last year, they've refused to do that."

Earnest said  the president's requests are "fully paid for" and "offset by revenue increases and cuts in other parts of the budget."

But Buck characterized the $56 billion spending-increase proposal as evidence that the president is a lame duck whose solution to every problem is spending money the government doesn't have.

"With three years left in office, it seems the president is already throwing in the towel," Buck said.

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