Obama’s Revenue Plans Hit Resistance in Congress

Reports the New York Times:

President Obama is running into stiff Congressional resistance to his plans to raise money for his ambitious agenda, and the resulting hole in the budget is threatening a major health care overhaul and other policy initiatives.

The administration’s central revenue proposal — limiting the value of affluent Americans’ itemized deductions, including the one for charitable giving — fell flat in Congress, leaving the White House, at least for now, without $318 billion that it wants to set aside to help cover uninsured Americans…

As Congress prepares to reconvene after a recess, senior lawmakers and aides say they are only now beginning to confront the lack of new sources of money, especially for moving the nation toward universal health coverage, a goal for which Democrats hope to deliver a plan this year.

This is a delicious little selection of text for several reasons. Credit to the NYT reporter for getting this down with a straight face.

First, President Obama is apparently suddenly troubled by the possibility of a $318 billion “hole in the budget,” and allowing it to threaten his plans. This never seemed to be a problem before; when the American government wants something, paying for it is typically the least of its worries.  Next, the proposal would essentially penalize charitable giving…for the purpose of paying for government charity. I’d like to assume that’s merely unintentional irony, but somehow I suspect it isn’t.

Finally, “senior lawmakers and aides say they are only now beginning to confront the lack of new sources of money.” [emphasis mine] They’re only just beginning to think about where all this money they’re spending will come from?  Really? I have an idea of where they might get it: out of thin air.

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