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Despite lawmaker criticisms, many ideas from Obama’s last budget made the cut


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A close look at last year’s budget document shows that some of Obama’s suggestions were implemented in the end.

Congress jealously guards its power of the purse and because of this instinct, presidential budget proposals have a tendency to get ignored even in the best of times.

With President Obama set to unveil his 2013 budget in the coming days, a close look at last year’s document shows that some of Obama’s suggestions were implemented in the end.

To be sure, in general terms, the February 2011 Obama budget was discarded by both parties.

The budget’s 2012 spending levels were hammered down by the House GOP through the August debt-ceiling deal and Obama himself revised its long term mandatory spending goals in an April budget speech and in September recommendations to the deficit supercommittee.
Obama originally proposed $1.140 trillion in discretionary spending for 2012 and that was whittled down by almost $100 billion to $1.043 trillion, excluding war and disaster spending.

The original ten-year goal of $2.1 trillion in deficit reduction, including reduced war funding, was expanded to $4 trillion in cuts over ten years by Obama himself in the September recommendations.

The February budget did put forward 200 “terminations and reductions” to save $30 billion in 2012. Many of these were in the end enacted.

Despite some grumbling by defense hawks, three defense projects targeted by Obama were terminated: the Marine Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, the SLAMRAAM missile and the second engine for the Joint Strike Fighter. Despite opposition from liberal Democrats, Community Development Block Grants were cut by 7.5 percent as Obama had called for, and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) was cut by $1.2 billion. The LIHEAP cuts were less, however, than the $2.5 billion Obama had been seeking.snip
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