Today, when signing it into law, President Obama framed the jobs / stimulus package as "the beginning." It turns out that the next, and much larger, step will come very soon. The Wall Street Journal reports that President Obama will unveil his budget proposal next Thursday on February 26th:
With a $787 billion stimulus package in hand, President Barack Obama will pivot quickly to address a budget deficit that could now approach $2 trillion this year.
He has scheduled a "fiscal-responsibility summit" on Feb. 23 and will unveil a budget blueprint three days later, crafted to put pressure on politicians to address the country's surging long-term debt crisis.
Due to the enormous amount of spending involved--a minimum of $2.8 trillion--the federal budget will be the largest fight of 2009. It will surpass, and even possibly encompass, like health care, foreclosure reform, and a new energy economy. It will also be a good measure of how many progressive votes we have really gianed in the House.
If the the stimulus is the downpayment, the budget is the mortgage. This is where President Obama can begin to restructure the economy. I am a little surprised it will start so soon, but at least we won't be without excitement for very long.