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Balancing the budget: Obamaway

Josh Hicks at the Washington Post treats us to a “big winners and losers” description of the Obama budget. The Obamaway is to increase spending and taxes such that the revenue pie gets bigger thereby reducing deficits and rescuing more people from poverty. In the Obamaway manner, there is no specific metric such as eliminating poverty in America that should be a requirement. That would be zero poverty in America.

The Obamaway

Increasing discretionary spending by 2 percent is a meaningless indication. What matters is projected return on costs defined by specific outcomes and timeframes. We know nothing about that.

Here is what we know about the Obamaway:

  • Agriculture would be cut as it should be. Taxpayers are subsidizing poor health made possible through agriculture and “Big Ag”.
  • Health and Human Services is a big fat bureaucracy that needs a diet.
  • Housing and Urban Development has its share of leaning to do too.
  • Department of Homeland Security is targeted for a small hit. That organization has a lot more fat than Obama is willing to address.
  • The Labor Department can adjust a little if job production returns to the private sector.

Those are the “big losers” and that doesn't sound like much. It isn’t.

The Obamaway winners include the Department of Commerce where the President wants to juice up assistance to small business. Let’s see the details.

  • VA is a gainer for political reasons in an election year.
  • The Department of Energy should be viewed as strategic but it is not. It gets a little boost.
  • Departments of Transportation and Education get little boosts too.

Compare that to the 1,000 page tax overhaul proposed by a leading Republican and the Obamaway is trivial. Let’s address tax simplification.

“Biggest winners and losers in the White House budget BY JOSH HICKS March 5 at 6:00 a.m.

President Obama on Tuesday released a $3.9 trillion budget plan that would increase spending and raise taxes taxes in hopes of spurring the economy, reducing deficits and lifting more Americans out of poverty. The budget proposal is a wish list with virtually no chance of serious consideration from an ideologically divided Congress. Republicans have already rejected the fiscal blueprint as too liberal, but many Democrats are likely to use it as a platform in the upcoming midterm elections. The White House plan would increase federal discretionary spending by about 2 percent, but not all agencies would see their fortunes rise. In fact, some would receive considerably less funding. Below is a list of the top executive departments that would lose and gain the most compared to their 2014 discretionary funding levels:

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