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Obama FY14 Budget Is DBA, Not DOA

10 Apr 2013
Posted by Stan Collender

The Obama fiscal 2014 budget will be released today.

Because of the White House-generated leaks about the Obama budget, it has already been denounced by Republicans for proposing revenue increases and by Democrats for proposing a change in the way cost-of-living adjustments are calculated for Social Security.

Because the House and Senate have already adopted their own budget resolutions, the administration's budget may not even be voted on.

It's not impossible; in fact, there are GOP plans in the works in the Senate to make voting on the president's budget part of any effort to raise the debt ceiling when it's reached later this year. And Democrats might want a symbolic vote on the Obama budget just so they can oppose the president's Social Security proposal.

To top it all off, a deal was reached last night between Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) about background checks on gun buying and that may well take up much of the media time and interest that otherwise might have gone to covering the president's budget.

Add to that:

  • The State of the Union Address, which is usually given just a few days before the budget is released and includes the budget's highlights, was delivered months ago.
  • There is an acting director of the Office of Management and Budget who is not well known to and has little credibility with to the public. He is very unlikely to do a media blitz on the Sunday talk shows next weekend. For that matter, the talk shows aren't likely to want to talk about the Obama budget next weekend.

This is a president's budget that at most may be a one-day story. Rather than being "dead on arrival" or DOA as most presidential budgets are these days, the Obama FY14 budget will be, or already is, DBA, that is "dead before arrival."


DOA budgets are not-so really

OK, so lots of pundits will call it DOA. After many years in my agency (from which I am now retired) many President's budgets were called DOA. However, the appropriators rely to a significant amount on individual agency explanatory notes in developing the appropriation levels and policies. I bet most 'DOA' budgets ended up being essentially entirely enacted for the agency I worked for. Maybe some of the big stuff (taxes, entitlements, etc.) might be DOA, but the appropriators will never know enough about the agencies in their purview to toss out the budget notes completely.

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