U.S. President Barack Obama's 2013 budget proposal will give Republicans and Democrats plenty to fight about.
The $3.8 trillion budget proposal, submitted to Congress, essentially follows the blueprint President Obama outlined in his State of the Union address.
That means fewer spending cuts and more taxes than Republicans will like.
So if you thought last summer's wrangling over the raising of the debt ceiling was nasty, watch the rhetorical Armageddon when those battles get re-fought in an election year.
President Obama's 2013 budget sets much of the agenda for the stormy election season ahead. These points will help you make sense of the chaos.
What You Should Know About President Obama's 2013 Budget
- Congress Sets the Budget: The fact is Congress, not the president, ultimately controls the federal purse strings. While much hoopla will accompany President Obama's 2013 budget, presidential budget proposals often serve more as a political billboard than a framework for how money is collected and spent by the government.
So President Obama's budget will provide talking points for his 2012 re-election campaign and targets for the Republicans who seek to defeat him.
"Every budget proposal is partly a serious policy document and partly a political statement,"Stan Collender, a former staffer for both the House and Senate Budget Committees, told msnbc.com.
- No Budget, No Problem: Not only can Congress reject the president's budget,
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