U.S. President Barack Obama arrives in the East Room of the White House on February 9, 2012 in Washington, D.C. He is expected to announce his proposed 2013 budget on Monday.
U.S. President Barack Obama arrives in the East Room of the White House on February 9, 2012 in Washington, D.C. He is expected to announce his proposed 2013 budget on Monday. - 

David Brancaccio: President Obama unveils his budget for next year on Monday, at a community college just outside of Washington, D.C. But how serious is this executive branch wish list in a gridlocked Washington?

Marketplace's David Gura reports.


David Gura: When we hear President Obama announce his 2013 budget, it’s important to remember what the president’s budget proposal really is.  First, there are things he can’t do.

Jim Kessler is a vice president at Third Way, a centrist think tank.

Jim Kessler: The budget that the president puts out is merely a suggestion to Congress, and then Congress has to enact it or enact something else.

Second, Kessler says, there are things he -- and Congress -- can’t touch.

Kessler: Half of the budget is not really subjected to Congressional approval.  It’s Social Security, Medicaid, interest on the debt, and Medicare.

Don’t forget this is an election year, Kessler says. Republicans will focus on one number in particular, the deficit for this year: $1 trillion. And President Obama? He’ll point to $3 trillion in savings over the next ten years.   

In Washington, I’m David Gura, for Marketplace.

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