Congressional Democrats Reach Agreement on Budget Pact Endorsing Obama Goals
WASHINGTON -- Congressional Democrats sealed an agreement Monday night on a budget plan that would help President Obama overhaul the health care system but allows his signature tax cut for most workers to expire after next year.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., announced the agreement and key details in a statement.
Most importantly, the congressional budget plan would prevent Senate Republicans from delaying or blocking Obama's plan to vastly expand government-subsidized health care when it advances this fall.
The $3.5 trillion plan for the budget year starting Oct. 1 embraces several of Obama's key goals besides health care reform, including funds for domestic programs and clean energy, and a tax increase for individuals making more than $200,000 a year or couples making more than $250,000.
But the plan would allow Obama's signature $400 tax cut for most workers and $800 for couples to expire at the end of next year. Even after squeezing the defense and war budgets to levels that are probably unrealistic, the plan would cause a deficit of $523 billion in five years.
Can we all give a collective "I told you so"? Most of us were saying back in the campaign that he could not spend the money he wanted to spend and give the tax cut he promised.
Now keep in mind, this will be a tax increase. When you take away a tax cut you are, in effect, raising taxes.
The only problem now is my wife and I are going to have to adjust our budget when we lose that $13 a week. We had come to rely on that money. Something will have to go.