Obama Budget Sets Election Year Priorities

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President Barack Obama unveiled his 2015 budget on Tuesday, which he said represented a distillation of his “opportunity” agenda.

The budget is unlikely to go anywhere in Congress, where a hostile Republican House of Representatives has been unwilling to advance most of Obama’s priorities. Rather, the budget is an election-year marker that reflects the priorities of the White House and most Democrats heading into the midterms.

“This budget adheres to the spending principles members of both Houses of Congress have already agreed to,” Obama explained. “But, it also builds on that progress with what we are calling an opportunity, growth, and security initiative, that invests in our economic priorities in a way that is paid for by making smart spending cuts and closing tax loopholes that, right now, only benefit the well-off and well- connected.”

The budget contains many of the initiatives which Obama has stumped for since his State of the Union address in January, including an expansion of preschool education and investments in high-tech job growth.

But the budget was highlighted by a proposed expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, which many Republicans have previously embraced, and a major investment in transportation infrastructure financed by the elimination of some key tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations.

Republicans, perhaps unsurprisingly, quickly rejected the Obama proposal. (Their own alternative is due soon.)

“After years of fiscal and economic mismanagement, the president has offered perhaps his most irresponsible budget yet,” complained House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in a statement in which he also noted that Obama’s budget never balances.