Feature

Obama budget: 'Awesome' failure?

With a record deficit, the president faces criticism for spending too much — and spending too little

President Obama unveiled a $3.8 trillion budget proposal on Monday that would push the deficit to a record $1.56 trillion this year. Obama wants to end Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, and spend $282 billion on economic recovery programs. Republican leaders say the budget "spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much"; Obama says it's impossible to reduce the deficit "overnight" and still create jobs. Is Obama striking a good balance, or is his budget a disaster? (Watch Obama announce his $3.83 trillion plan)

Obama's spending is out of control: Obama's 2011 budget is "one of the greatest spend-while-you-can documents in American history," say the editors of The Wall Street Journal. With $100 billion for a jobs stimulus and big boosts for education and other Democratic priorities, it's clear Obama means to make big spending and higher taxes permanent."The president's priorities"We should spend more, not less: Obama's budget projects high unemployment for years to come, says Paul Krugman in The New York Times, so even Obama can't expect this mini-stimulus to create enough jobs to keep families from being destroyed. If the administration and Congress can't do better, it will be "an awesome national failure.""A depressing budget"

Obama's on the right path: Obama's big deficits are part of a careful strategy, says Mark Trumbull in The Christian Science Monitor, to boost jobs and the economy first, then pivot "gradually toward fiscal discipline." Republicans can say Obama's spending irresponsibly, but experts agree that Obama's approach is right for a nation still clawing out of a deep recession."Obama budget: White House defends $1.267 trillion federal deficit"

The president's budget proposal doesn't matter: President Obama's budget is just "a suggestion" of what he wants Congress to spend, says Chris Good in The Atlantic. If Democrats want a bigger piece of the "gigantic budget pie" for other priorities, and Republicans want to do more to fight waste, it's up to them to fix it."How important is Obama's budget?"

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