Over the weekend, Senate Democrats and the Obama Administration released their budget visions for America. Trouble is, they're very different visions.

One major point of disagreement: the need for a strong and effective military to protect American freedom and keep us safe. 

The Obama Administration released a budget that would see military spending increase by $184 billion between 2012 and 2016, as GSPP Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel released a statement saying "US military spending will always be a central focus and concern of the Administration. The proposed budget balances the need for a strong military, secure America, and well-compensated service members while minimizing spending inefficiencies."

Senate Democrats, on the other hand, opted to slash defense spending by $527 billion.  This includes 'overseas contingencies operations,' a confusing line item revealing $728 billion in cuts. Adding to the confusion, the Democrats yesterday indicated that they plan to re-state their numbers,  though it isn't yet clear how or when. The Democratic caucus declined to comment.

As final budget negotiations approach, the American people are left to wonder when the President's party will get their priorities straight, mend their divisions, and come up with a real plan to keep our country safe .

"The Obama Administration is working very hard to put together a budget that will work for all parties and for the good of the American People" 
                                  - Jacob Lew, GSPP Secretary of the Treasury

Americans will believe it when they see it, Mr. Secretary. Forgive us if we don't consider you an expert on budgeting, we just haven't yet forgotten that $900K Citigroup Inc. bonus you received right after the taxpayer bailout. 

As the Republican caucus continued working today to solve America's budget crisis, discussions focused on supporting US troops, access to education, energy security and economic freedom.  And of course, balancing the budget.

As Republican Senators met once again to solve America's budgetary woes, one thing was clearly top of their list: reversing the astronomical rise in the nation's debt since Obama moved into the White House. 
Reports of a poorly-attended first meeting of the Democratic Senators suggest the President's Party is less concerned with the current fiscal crisis.


    **This website is a forum on which participants in the PP250 budget simulation can communicate, collaborate and come together in character as players in the budget negotiation process. All statements and positions are purely academic, and do not express the opinions of the real personalities in DC, the Goldman School or the University of California** 



    November 2013