President Obama Fails to Submit His Budget on Time... Again

Blog Articles · Jan 15, 2013 · Budget and Spending

During his time in office, President Obama has proven a good storyteller, but he has failed to use this same window of opportunity to demonstrate his budgeting skills. His budget will be late again - for the fourth time in five years.

And of course, the president was not elected to tell stories. He was elected to lead in a country based on the rule of law. The Constitution, the supreme law of the land, states clearly, "he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." One such law is the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921. It requires the President to submit his budget request for the upcoming fiscal year no later than the first Monday of February.

Obama's failure to submit his budget on time is an unprecedented pattern for a president, and it reflects his "cavalier attitude toward the government's troubled fiscal condition."

The president is not alone in his incessant failure. The Senate is right there with him. The Heritage Foundation's Patrick Knudsen states:

Fixating on budget deadlines may seem compulsive, but this President's willful negligence in this regard exonerates the failures of the Senate, which has all but abandoned the fundamental governing practice of budgeting. The President's budget is the formal start of the budget process; when it's late, so is everything else, pushing back budget decisions and obliterating the fiscal year, which starts (or used to) on October 1.
More important, perhaps, Congress's nature is to avoid difficult tasks such as budgeting. Presidents have traditionally tried to set a good example, starting with meeting legal deadlines. President Obama? Not so much.

Knudsen explains the impact:

The government's fiscal problems are real and getting worse. It will take serious, substantial, and sustained spending restraint to correct its disastrous fiscal course. That, in turn, depends on restoring consistent, regular budgeting practices. The more the President ignores something as straightforward as budget deadlines set in law, the further out of control budgeting becomes, and the more difficult it becomes to reform unsustainable entitlements, restrain spending, and reduce the deficit.

Obama doesn't seem to be bothered by any of this though. After all, failing to pass a budget is equivalent to a free pass for liberal lawmakers to spend taxpayer money with reckless abandon.