February 4 is here, and surprise of surprises, Barack Obama, for the fourth time in five years, has missed the deadline for submitting a budget. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who is in the middle of submitting a budget of his own that will balance by 2023, commented:
I’m disappointed the president has missed his deadline. But I’m not surprised. In four of the last five years, he’s failed to submit his budget on time. We still don’t know when we’ll receive the president’s request. And for nearly four years, Senate Democrats haven’t passed a budget at all. We deserve better.
Obama had castigated the GOP before about missing deadlines vis-à-vis the “fiscal cliff” saying:
America wonders why it is in this town why you can’t get stuff done in an organized timetable. Why everything has to always wait until the last minute. We’re now at the last minute. The American people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy. Let’s not miss this deadline. That’s the bare minimum we should be able to get done.
The White House hasn’t even given Congress a target date for when Obama’s budget will be submitted, although Congressional aides are guessing it won’t happen until early March. The official White House excuse is that the “fiscal cliff” negotiations were responsible for the delay. Ryan has already noted that Obama has missed more deadlines than any president in virtually 100 years.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) noted:
For the fourth time in five years this White House has proven it does not take trillion-dollar deficits seriously enough to submit a budget on time. In contrast, Republicans will meet our obligations and pass another budget in the coming weeks that addresses our spending problem, promotes robust job creation, and expands opportunity for all Americans.
Although the Democratic Senate and the GOP-led House agreed to stop taking salaries if their chambers didn’t pass a budget by April 15, there is a growing sentiment that a deal won’t happen on a budget, because Ryan’s plan wants to eliminate tax increases, partially privatize Medicare and institute spending cuts while Democrats want to raise taxes and limit spending cuts. The GOP wants to pass a budget sooner rather than later so that the issues of tax increases and spending cuts will be resolved before the debt ceiling deadline of May 19.