Secrets of the Budget Talks
Paul Gigot brings us the tale of that vigilant budget hawk, the adult in the room, that rager against the profligate, Barack Obama:
The reality is that the White House offer on spending reforms was much less than publicly advertised, and by the end it even included $136 billion in new spending proposals over 10 years.
A source in the talks laid out for us on Monday the increases that were part of the final White House offer before the talks led by Vice President Joe Biden broke down:
-$15 billion in new general spending that would come from the $30 billion expected to be raised from spectrum auctions;
-$8 billion to bail out the Post Office;
-$33 billion to extend Pell grants for college, as the money for the expanded grants under the stimulus runs out;
-$43 billion to extend unemployment benefits for another 99 weeks;
-$10 billion more for research at the National Institutes of Health;
-And $27 billion over two years for the Medicare "doc fix," to avoid a reduction in payments to doctors that is scheduled to take effect under current law.
[LB: Is that reduction part of what let them claim that Obamacare didn't raise the deficit? Why, yes, it is! Who could have possibly foreseen this? ANYONE WHO LOOKED AT IT!]
None of this is surprising as the spending items fit with longstanding administration priorities.Yeah, but the budget crisis is the Republican's fault - the White House blames Cantor, the lapdog press laps it up, spits it out...