President Obama's budget was released Monday, and notably absent were most of recommendations from the deficit commission that he created via an executive order.
Last year the president tasked a bipartisan group of lawmakers and experts -- headed up by co-chairs Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson, and given the very Washington-name of the "National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform" -- to achieve a big goal. They were asked to make recommendations on reducing the deficit.
One of the main themes was fixing entitlements -- things like Social Security and Medicare -- and trimming some defense spending. Their ideas got tripped up when the commission didn't muster enough votes to send their plan along to Congress for a formal vote. Several prominent Republicans voted no in part because the plan included raising tax revenues.
The commission recommended raising the Social Security retirement age, holding off on some benefit increases, getting rid of some popular tax breaks like mortgage interest deduction, Medicare reforms, and hiking the federal gas tax. The commission said the changes would trim $4 trillion over the next 10 years, about four times the deficit reduction proposed in Monday's 2012 White House budget release.
The commission's ideas were presented last December. At the time, President Obama seemed responsive.
"The commission's majority report includes a number of specific proposals that I - along with my economic team -- will study closely in the coming weeks as we develop our budget and our priorities for the coming year," Obama said.
Yet Monday morning when the budget was released -- $3.73 trillion billion budget with $1.1 trillion in spending cuts and tax increases over the next decade-- there were plenty of proposals, but none of them major adjustments to the so-called entitlements.
When asked about the cuts to Social Security and Medicare not being included, Simpson in a phone interview with Fox News' Stuart Varney on Neil Cavuto's show, said that he didn't think the president necessarily ignored everything they recommended because at least people weren't saying like they used to, not to cut anything.
"[T]hey're talking about how much do you cut, that's progress in some small ways," Simpson said.
Obama said Monday that the budget would include "tough choices and sacrifices."
The White House did propose cutting and consolidating 200 programs - including one that helps pay heat for low-income families and Great Lakes restoration.Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., who chairs the House budget committee said that the budget didn't go far enough and that "It would be better to do nothing than to pass this budget."
When asked why the deficit commission's recommendations weren't incorporated, Budget Director Jack Lew said, "[T]his budget does accomplish what was the task given to the commission, which was to bring the deficit down to three percent of the economy so that we would have a sustainable level of federal financing in the future. "
Lew also argued that there are some ideas incorporated. "[T]he budget draws heavily on the ideas of the commission in areas like corporate tax reform, which I mentioned; medical malpractice reform; even the government reorganization and handling of surplus property. So there are many, many provisions in this budget that reflect the good work done by the commission," Lew said.
He also argued the commission put a lot of ideas out there, and brought a bipartisan, civil consensus.
It's unclear if the White House has any plans to get any more consultation with Bowles or Simpson in the future, whether in an informal or formal manner.
Bowles could not be reached for comment.
Fox Business' Peter Barnes contributed to this report.