The president’s new budget request has been announced, but its political value will be revealed November 4, when the Democrats find out if they still have a majority in the U.S. Senate.
There’s little or no chance that the budget request will be be passed by November. But the request is intended to help President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies keep control of the Senate in the November election.
The unfolding crisis in Ukraine will likely shove much of the faux-news budget story out of the headlines for a few days. That’s partly because reporters know the plan is a campaign document. After all, the Senate’s Democratic budget chief, Sen. Patty Murray, says she has no intention of passing a politically risky budget vote before the November elections.
Current polls suggest that the Republicans will likely win a Senate majority in November, and the Democrats — led by Obama — are fighting tooth-and-nail to keep their Senate majority.
So it’s safe to assume Obama’s budget includes numerous poll-tested ideas that he can tout while he’s out on the campaign trail.
It doesn’t matter if those campaign-ready ideas are unlikely to work or impossible for the GOP to accept. What matters is whether they raise his approval ratings above the current level of 43 percent. That rating is low enough to drag several Democratic Senators into retirement.
Obama’s budget asks for money from Congress to fund to extend the Earned Income Tax Credit from parents to low-income workers, which he’ll mention whenever he urges the Congress to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.
He’s asking for an increase in the child tax-credit and for more money for federal child-care, which are two proposals that could help boost support among the critical suburban female vote.
He’s asking for $28 billion to boost defense spending, which will buttress his claim to support the military.
He’s asking for billions to spend on infrastructure spending, billions for education, billions for symbolic investment in manufacturing, all of which reinforce his unproven claim that his policies can jump start the economy.
He’s seeking new tax increases, ensuring that he’ll be able to cite Republican rejections whenever he claims that the GOP is only for the rich and is against the middle-class.
He’s claiming his budget will shrink the nation’s huge budget deficit, which has boosted the nation’s debt by more than $7 trillion on his watch. This will help his claim to be a responsible steward of the national fisc when he’s attending townhall meetings.