Lordy, did a pig just fly by your window? Did a snowball just have a chance in hell? Did a moon just turn blue?

Because for once, black bloggers and the Congressional Black Caucus are agreeing on something. We got beef with the President’s budget.

Here’s African American Political Pundit wondering how far Obama is willing to compromise:

There are a number of Black bloggers, Progressive bloggers and journalists who are reporting on how Obama’s budget proposal will hurt the poor, cut aid to middle class & burden students.  Read: Black Americans Especially Vulnerable To Budget Austerity, Study Shows
Now the question is whether President Obama is Channeling Ronald Reagan?
reaganobama Channeling Reagan, Obama Moves to Slash Programs for Urban Poor

Is Barack Obama trying to be more Republican than the Republicans, in order to appease the GOP?

[...]

AAP says: I knew it was going to be ugly for the black community when President Obama gave Black leaders the bad news on likely budget cuts. Candidly, I’m also wondering like other black bloggers, why are blacks always the biggest targets of budget cuts? I’m also wondering how our President could do this to us, after all black voters  did, to help in get into office?

You should read the whole piece. It’s good.

Meanwhile over at Colorlines, Shani O. Hilton breaks it down on the CBC’s “Say What Now?” reaction to the budget:

…the Congressional Black Caucus is emerging as one of the loudest House Democratic critics of a plan that Marc Ambinder at National Journal calls “The Budget Nobody Likes.”

In his press conference yesterday, Obama insisted that “just like every family in America, the government has to do two things at once: It has to live within its means and it has to invest in the future.” He compared the budget to the balancing act many families must make when they decide to cut back on eating out and other luxuries in order to save for their kids’ educations.

Yet, several House Democrats, including CBC members, have disagreed. A spokesperson for Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.—who sits on the House Appropriations Committee, where the real fight with GOP deficit hawks will be engaged—criticized the president’s analogy, saying, “It isn’t cutting luxuries, it’s cutting things that are vital.”

CBC Chair Emanuel Cleaver agreed in a harshly worded statement reacting to Monday’s budget. “Rebuilding our economy on the backs of the most vulnerable Americans is something that I simply can not accept,” Cleaver said. “I understand that now is the time for us as a nation to sacrifice in order to protect our children from a mountain of debt; however, I am struggling to understand how this budget helps us to best achieve this critical goal.”

My reaction to the proposed budget is one of excitement – I love the idea of investing in innovation and infrastructure in pursuit of employing Americans now and in the future. For example, I love the idea of rolling out broadband to 98% of the U.S. The GOP doesn’t appear to care about whether people work in America. John Boehner said if some federal jobs were lost as a result of his proposed budget cuts: “so be it“. Let them eat cake and drink tea? It’s been calculated that we could lose as many as 1 million jobs under Boehner’s plan (both public and private sector) — enough to tip us back into the recession from which we’re just starting to climb.

I also appreciate that the White House conducted special outreach to the African-American community to let us know what’s good about Obama’s budget for us. You can read that document for yourself, it’s called Winning the Future for African-American Families.

On the other hand, I’d like to see us cut more deeply into our severely bloated defense budget and look for efficiencies in entitlements programs. Don’t get it twisted: I don’t think we should cut folks’ healthcare or social security benefits. That said, I’m guessing on the healthcare side, more investment on prevention programs and better negotiations on pricing would save a lot of money in the short and long term, for example. Re: defense, early in my career, I actually worked as a contractor at the helpdesk at a government agency. The waste was disgusting. We can still have a strong military while exercising greater discipline and focus on where our money goes. Because if we have a kickass armed forces but everyone’s un-educated, broke and jobless — doesn’t that turn us into North Korea over time? I’d rather be more like certain European countries where higher education and healthcare are both free for everyone than like North Korea — wouldn’t you? Just sayin’

So what’s your take — has the president gone too far in his budget cuts? Or is he on the right track?

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