GOP Payroll Tax Cut Announcement Was Amateur Hour

The actual policy change and the fact that the tea party wing got hosed yet again, but making the announcement the same day as the Obama budget was released meant that (1) it rather than what the White House proposed became the biggest tax and spending story of the day and (2) the GOP criticisms of the budget had to compete with the explanations for the cave for attention.

As I look at the news websites this morning, the GOP reversal is being played way above the budget story and its criticisms and complaints of the president’s plan are harder to find.

The word is that the GOP made the decision on Friday. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to release the announcement then so that it would have been old news by Monday and the criticisms of the Obama budget would have been front and center (or top right above the fold)?

And doesn’t the fact that the GOP either didn’t think about this or made a very bad decision to make the announcement on Monday indicate more disarray in the leadership than might otherwise be apparent.

Obama 2013 Budget: White House Shows Some Political Smarts

My column from today’s Roll Call explains why the politics behind the Obama 2013 budget that was released yesterday are a sharp departure from what the White House has tried to do with its previous budgets.

After three years of trying to propose something that would be at least marginally acceptable enough to get a conversation started, this year’s budget is based on an assumption by the Obama administration that nothing it proposes will be accepted so it might as well propose the spending and tax plans it prefers.

It’s just the latest sign that nothing is going to happen this year on the budget. It’s also an indication that the Obama administration is now playing tougher politically than it has before.