By the end of the session with reporters, Sperling was just running up the score. “So I think this president has very much stepped up to the plate,” he concluded.
All the sports talk amounted to a head fake, or perhaps a quarterback sneak, because the real game the White House was playing was dodgeball: evading anything resembling a serious budget proposal.
The White House’s budget for fiscal 2013 begins with a broken promise, adds some phony policy assumptions, throws in a few rosy forecasts and omits all kinds of painful decisions. Even then, the proposal would add $1 trillion more to the national debt than Obama contemplated a few months ago — and it is a non-starter on Capitol Hill, where even Senate Democrats have no plans to take it up. It is, in other words, exactly what it was supposed to be: a campaign document.