A president’s budget sets the tone, direction and parameters of the debate over government operations and Republicans in Congress will be hard-pressed to go against a president of their own party, Allen writes. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Every year, Congress affixes the same toe tag to the White House budget within minutes of its delivery: “Dead on Arrival.”
The phrase is such a cliche, and so often repeated by members of Congress who dislike the president’s numbers, that it’s hard to find a news story about each year’s budget that doesn’t include those three words. It’s also discounted as just a “blueprint,” “a political document” or a “proposal” written for disposal. When I was a budget reporter for CQ, and at other publications, these were my watchwords.