Awaiting Obama's Latest Budget Proposal

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For this libertarian policy analyst, the annual release of the president’s budget proposal is like the day after your team loses the Super Bowl: everyone’s talking about it, but you’d rather curl up in bed with a fifth of Old Grand-Dad.

Alas, it’s that time of year—albeit a couple months late. The budget won’t be released until next week, but some of the details have leaked out to the press. As Dan Mitchell notes, theWashington Post is “predictably regurgitating” the White House’s spin that the president’s latest budget will be an olive branch of sorts to Republicans.

Why?

The president will apparently propose modest measures to slow the growth in entitlement spending in exchange for more tax increases. That would raise hopes for what the Beltway class likes to refer to as the “grand bargain,” but for those of us who are looking for considerably less government in our lives it would hardly be cause for enthusiasm.

Nor are any of the other ideas being reported:

  • Sequestration would be replaced with an alternative deficit reduction package. Expect for that to be higher taxes combined with a promise to cut spending somehow, some day in the future.
  • Funding for a new pre-kindergarten program—because (not much of a) Head Start apparently isn’t enough.
  • Funding for some initiative to map the human brain. (I would advise against using a politician’s for the model.)

I’m guessing there will be a package of proposed rinky-dink spending cuts—a now-annual tradition started by the previous big spender in the White House. But, of course, overall spending would continue to grow and the government would still remain involved in every facet of our lives.