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July 20, 2009

Free the Budget!

Most transparent, administration EVER EVER.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House is being forced to acknowledge the wide gap between its once-upbeat predictions about the economy and today's bleak landscape.

The administration's annual midsummer budget update is sure to show higher deficits and unemployment and slower growth than projected in President Barack Obama's budget in February and update in May, and that could complicate his efforts to get his signature health care and global-warming proposals through Congress.

The release of the update - usually scheduled for mid-July - has been put off until the middle of next month, giving rise to speculation the White House is delaying the bad news at least until Congress leaves town on its August 7 summer recess.

The administration is pressing for votes before then on its $1 trillion health care initiative, which lawmakers are arguing over how to finance.

In other words, 'don't worry about the budget, just pass my craptastic bills.' Normally, such behavior from an administration that promised historic levels of transparency would be something of an outrage, but it's becoming par for the course these days. If the fabled Blue Dog Democrats actually exist, this would be a perfect time for them to start making noise. The White House is hiding information they need to do their jobs in a responsible fashion and they should refuse to vote on any bill that has a significant fiscal impact until the budget update is released.

Still, this does raise an interesting question. If, as Obama claims, the healthcare bill will actually save money, why hide the budget figures until after it's passed instead of presenting the plan as a strategy toward greater solvency?

Update - Moron Chew Toy poon says the fact that President Bush delayed his mid-summer budget update in 2001 makes this post "seem kinda...pointless."
I think the Bush administration, like all, should have worked to get budget information to Congress in a timely fashion. However, poon's frothing Bush-hate leads him to overlook the fact that the Obama administration is trying to push a massive health care bill with significant fiscal impact through the Congress with little regard for how bad the economy is getting. Unless I missed a rather significant development in 2001, President Bush was not.

Their haste to pass a bill before updating the Congress on the budget violates the spirit of the unprecedented transparency we were promised. What's the hurry, other than a cynical attempt to outrun his falling poll numbers? Well that, and pure ego.

So seems I was wrong. They are not "hiding" the information, they're doing something far worse: they're going forward with a budget-busting bill with inadequate information as to the current state of the budget.

Seems they're guilty of incompetence, not malice.

My mistake.

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posted by Slublog at 07:30 AM

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