Senator Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Budget Committee Chairman, announced this evening that Congressional Democrats and Obama have reached an agreement on the budget.
The budget plan, which takes effect on October 1st, is still a ridiculous $3.5 Trillion dollars, it still has tax increases for those earning more than $200,000 per year (and $250,000 per couple), however, Obama’s oft lauded tax cuts for 95% of working families will evaporate next year.
The reason for the early withdrawal of promised tax cuts is obvious, there is just not enough money to pay for everything by only taxing “the rich.” Even with “unrealistic” cuts to the war and defense budgets, on top of a $10 billion per year cut to Obama’s desired $50 billion increase in domestic programs (and capped the rate of increase to only 2.9% per year – which is unlikely to hold), there is still just not enough wealth to spread around. Conrad said
I think this is a good budget, but much more will have to be done to get us on a more sustainable course, including slowing the growth of benefit programs like Medicare and overhauling the tax code.
The Democrats are confident the budget will pass both Houses by Wednesday. However the more dangerous part of the agreement is that the budget plan would prevent Senate Republicans from stopping, or delaying, Obama’s plan to vastly expand taxpayer funded health care when it advances this fall.
We’ll have to keep our eyes on this one. Perhaps the T-Day protest on July 4th will cause some more Blue-Dog Democrats to side with the American People.