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Obama’s Valentine’s Day budget: No roses or bon-bons for the GOP

President Obama's FY 2012 budget lands on congressional desks Monday. Republicans are unimpressed, which sets the scene for a long fight over spending, taxing, and deficit reduction.

By Staff writer / February 13, 2011

Public Printer of the United States Bill Boarman, left, and Budget Director Jacob Lew, look at printed copies of the fiscal 2012 federal budget, Thursday, Feb. 10, at the U.S. Government Printing Office in Washington.

Jacquelyn Martin/AP


It’s only by coincidence that President Obama’s federal budget for FY 2012 arrives on congressional desks on Valentine’s Day – a weighty tome far heavier than a box of chocolates.

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It’s more challenge than gift, though, especially now that the tea party-tinged House is run by Republicans. They’re already ripping through the contents, pronouncing them unacceptable.

Obama’s budget, House Speaker John Boehner said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, “will continue to destroy jobs by spending too much, borrowing too much, and taxing too much.”

“Borrowing and spending is not the way to prosperity,” Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

The plan is “very small on spending discipline,” the Wisconsin Republican said. “Presidents are elected to lead, not to punt. And this president has been punting.”

That’s certainly not the way the White House sees it.

“After a decade of rising deficits, this budget asks Washington to live within its means, while at the same time investing in our future,” Obama said in his weekly radio address Saturday.

“It’s not possible to do this painlessly,” White House budget director Jacob Lew said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday. “We have a responsible budget that will cut in half the deficit by the end of the president’s first term.”

Budget highlights

Some of the highlights reported so far:

According to an Office of Management and Budget summary obtained by the Associated Press, the administration will propose more than $1 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade with two-thirds of that amount coming from spending cuts.

Some $400 billion in savings would come from a five-year freeze on non-security discretionary spending. Still, that covers just 10 percent of the overall federal budget, leaving out most defense spending and major entitlements.

Following the lead of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Obama’s budget includes $78 billion in Pentagon savings. Pentagon cuts would include the C-17 aircraft, the alternate engine to the Joint Strike Fighter, and the Marine Expeditionary Vehicle that the Defense Department says it does not need, according to the Reuters news agency.


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