In the late 90’s I staffed then-Congressman John Shadegg on his Budget Committee assignment. Now-Governor of Ohio, John Kasich was the Chairman of the committee.
At the beginning of each February, there was a buzz of anticipation as we waited for the President to release his annual budget – which was delivered to the Hill packaged in three or four separate books. We would pull all-nighters combing through tables and language to see what trickery President Clinton was using to try to mask deficits for as far as the eye could see.
Alas, it is April 10, and Obama is just now getting around to releasing his budget. It says something about a person – who voluntarily ran for election to a job that has legal requirements – but ignores laws and rules. The President is, by law, required to release a budget in early February. But Obama thumbed his nose at the law, and our nation, and decided that getting a March Madness bracket done and shutting down the White House to visitors was much, much more important.
How can we expect Obama to get serious about fiscal restraint when he doesn’t respect the process enough to do the basics of his job?
Republicans in the House should set up working conference room, put Obama’s budget on the table, and invite the President over to go through the budget line-by-line, like he promised he would.
“And when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.” (Presidential Debate, Sept. 28, 2008)
Of course, they’d be waiting there, by themselves, for a long time…