The annual budgetary kabuki dance between Obama and Congress has become almost comical in its predictability. Obama submits a budget, usually late, that has no hope in the world of even passing with Democrat support. Republicans force Democrats to actually vote on Obama’s budget. They refuse, no budget gets passed, the government gets funded on a continuing resolution. As a result, every several months, there’s a mad dash political game of chicken over whether the government will shut down or not.
Obama’s latest budget, which he at least deigned to submit on time, is perhaps the most egregious example of this tomfoolery yet. The budget blows through the sequester caps, raises taxes, and sharply increases discretionary spending. Each and every one of these items is a complete nonstarter even with the spineless ninnies who are in charge of the Republican caucus, and Obama knows it. See, Obama doesn’t really care if any of these things actually happen or not. He knows good and well that they want. All he really cares about is being seen to try to make them happen. As long as he can say, “Well, I tried to give you all free community college and free wireless internet everywhere on the planet but those mean Republicans just hate poor people,” he feels like he has discharged his duty with respect to the budget.
The annual budget has become a joke with Obama as its principal jester. He’s not in on the wink and nod, he’s the one delivering it.
But it turns out, not submitting a budget that has a reasonable chance of constituting at least a framework under which Congress can begin discussions has real life consequences. Real life adults, as well as anyone who has run a business, knows that operating from a budgetary framework is actually important to the fiscal health and long term projections of your business. Ad hoc-ing your spending plans and priorities for a few months at a time is a good way to wander, aimless and drifting, until you find yourself in serious financial trouble.
These things, however, do not matter to Obama. Obama has never been as interested in doing anything as he is in winning political elections. Even though there are no more that he can even possibly win personally, make no mistake that everything he does from now until the end of his term will be playing politics and trying to win elections. And one of the ways he thinks he can do that is by constantly pushing the government to the brink of shutdown and forcing the Republicans’ hand because he perceives that doing so will either harm Republicans with swing voters or their base, or both.
[mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] and [mc_name name=’Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’L000577′ ] don’t want government shutdowns. The number one person in America who loves shutdowns is Barack Obama. And he’s proven it with his budget again.