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Obama's budget: it's about politics, not economics

Business Times - 15 Feb 2012


Obama's budget: it's about politics, not economics

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

THE way to examine US President Barack Obama's proposed budget for the government's fiscal year of 2013 is by recognising that its main goal - perhaps the only one - is to ensure that Mr Obama remains in the White House in 2013. Indeed, notwithstanding all the admirable plans for stimulating the US economy and narrowing the growing social-economic gap that were included in the president's budget proposal, the chances that the Republican-dominated Congress would embrace them before the November election are very low.

For Republicans, the idea that the federal government should pursue another fiscal stimulus programme or use its power to increase the tax burden on the wealthy in order to help the middle class and the poor are antithetical to their free-market agenda.

Promoting the main themes of his budget proposal (AKA election campaign themes), Mr Obama…