OMB Director Jack Lew, speaking for the Obama administration, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times this weekend reiterating Obama's dedication to fiscal prudence and providing three examples of programs that Obama is willing to cut. All three are programs that benefit states, and Stan Collender thinks this isn't a coincidence:
The proposals are going to put a lot of Republican governors and mayors on the spot. I suspect the administration wants to force these GOP officials to be seen lobbying against the spending cut proposals. Look for them to be invited to some high profile meetings at the White House with heavy media coverage.
It's possible that Republican governors will decide not to take the bait, but Stan is certainly right that this is our first look at how the budget battles are going to unfold. Republicans are going to propose cuts to programs liberals like and Democrats are going to propose cuts to programs that include conservatives as at least part of their constituency. Then they can fight it out and decide not to cut all that much out of the federal budget after all. Should be loads of fun.