The PJ Tatler

SOTU Redux? It's a Lock!

President Obama officially releases his 2013 budget plan Monday, which will call for $1.5 trillion in spending cuts beyond the $1 trillion in deficit reduction agreed upon in this year’s debt-ceiling deal and $1.5 trillion in new taxes on corporations and higher-income earners.

Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Jeffrey Zients is tasked with discussing this budget — which also doesn’t offer much in the way of entitlement reforms, according to early reports — Monday with reporters, along with Alan Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council, and Cecilia Munoz, director of the Domestic Policy Council.

Obama, meanwhile, will go to Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va., to chat with students there about his budget.

During last month’s State of the Union address, one company shared the spotlight with the bailed-out automakers in Obama’s examples of shining manufacturing examples: Master Lock.

To prove that his budget push will be inextricably linked with his “America Built to Last” blueprint, the president will travel to visit the plant in Milwaukee “to continue to discuss his blueprint for an economy built to last based on American manufacturing and the importance of companies insourcing and investing in America,” according to the White House. Then, he’ll jet out of Wisconsin to raise campaign cash in California.

The Master Lock visit also serves the purposes of Obama putting a good foot forward with organized labor in this budget week. The UAW, which represents Master Lock employees, released a statement after the SOTU praising the president’s mention of the automakers and Master Lock.

“We agree with the president that if we level the global playing field for U.S. manufacturers and insist that the wealthy pay their fair share to rebuild our country, America’s future is hopeful, and the state of our union will always be strong,” said UAW president Bob King. “Let’s keep that message alive as we work to re-elect President Barack Obama in November.”

In between these two landmark “win the future” moments, Obama will meet Tuesday with the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt when he welcome Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping to the White House “to discuss a broad range of bilateral, regional, and global issues.”