Will It Ever Balance? An Answer in 11 Days.

March 29, 2013

From House Speaker John Boehner’s Office Press Office

Waiting, they say, is the hardest part. But in just 11 days, we’ll have answers to a couple lingering questions on the minds of the American people. Yes, we’ll know who is cutting down the nets, as the Final Four wraps up with a new NCAA champion. But also on April 8th 10th, the president’s own game of four corners will come to an end. And we’ll finally know: does his vision for America’s future include a balanced budget – ever? The president has made clear that his budget will not balance anytime in the next ten years. He says he doesn’t want to balance “just for the sake of balance.” Of course, no one is suggesting that’s the goal. Balance is important for economic growth, small business investment, job creation, and a better shot at the American dream for future generations. That’s why Americans overwhelmingly support the goal of a budget that balances and why Republicans passed one last week that did just that.

But if the president is unwilling to balance in the budget in the near-term, is he willing to make any meaningful reforms that will lead to a balanced budget down the road? A failure to do so would completely evaporate what little credibility the president might have left with the American people. As Speaker Boehner wrote to his colleagues in a memo earlier today, “Pressure is mounting on the Democratic majority in Washington to balance the federal budget and identify meaningful entitlement reforms they’re willing to enact to address the government’s soaring debt. Their reluctance to fully embrace balancing the budget demonstrates they are out of step with the American people.”

So now we watch the clock, soon to learn whether the president’s budget – already nearly two months late – will align with the balanced-budget goals of the American people. Assuming your bracket is already busted, just go ahead and mark your calendar for the president’s budget because it is nearly – at long last – here.

UPDATE: The White House now says the president’s budget will be released on April 10th. This is another disappointing, if not terribly surprising, delay. On the up-side, this provides more time to explore the unanswered questions that remain.

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