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Medicaid vs Transit in LA.

In his budget, Obama proposed increased spending on transportation funded largely by tax increases. This naturally raised the ire of Conservatives, who though generally in favor of infrastructure, oppose tax increases.  This also raised the Conservative talking point that welfare spending is consuming the entire budget, leaving very little left over for traditional government spending (also known as "discretionary spending").
The amounts proposed for transportation are relatively small.  As a small-government advocate, I find it mystifying that Obama's administration could not identify even small cuts to welfare spending to pay for this increased spending.  If they had proposed such an exchange, it would have been an easy sell in Congress- a welcomed bipartisan compromise.  So why didn't they propose such a deal?
It's possible that the Administration recognized that a compromise would be welfare-enhancing, but felt that political considerations made it undesirab…