The “Grand Bargain” Is Officially Off the Table

Anyone surprised by this news (via WaPo’s Zachary Goldfarb) either hasn’t been paying attention or is one of those progressives who think the Obama administration is part of a bipartisan corporate conspiracy to destroy the safety net:

The White House budget to be released early next month will propose $56 billion in new spending on domestic and defense priorities and drop a proposal that was included in last year’s budget as a way to attract Republican support — a plan that would have included less generous payouts of Social Security benefits.

The budget would aim to reduce the emphasis on austerity that has been the preoccupation of American politics for the past four years and also highlights top Democratic priorities in a year when Democrats hope to save their majority in the Senate.

A White House official said President Obama decided to release a budget that fully represents his “vision,” rather than to continue to pursue a fiscal agreement, because Republicans have refused to engage in good-faith negotiations over the nation’s top priorities.

Yeah, that’s pretty safe to say.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.