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Right Turn
Posted at 01:37 PM ET, 02/13/2012

Obama plays to the left, releases irresponsible budget

When last month’s unemployment numbers came out, the Democrats and their faithful spinners declared that President Obama’s reelection was near certain. In the last week we’ve seen how he loses the election: Reminding voters of the unpopular Obamacare, arrogantly trampling on religious freedom and, today, releasing a budget so irresponsible and embarrassing I would doubt Democrats will spend much, if any, effort to defend it.

The Post reports:

The new 10-year blueprint shows annual deficits exceeding $600 billion every year except 2018. And the portion of the debt held by outside investors would grow to $18.7 trillion by 2021, or 76.5 percent of the economy — a full $1 trillion higher.
Administration officials said about half the increase is due to policy changes, with the other half driven by gloomier economic projections that tend to depress tax collections, increase government spending and drive deficits up. Job growth has proven stronger than expected since the budget was prepared, they said, adding that the picture would look brighter today.

Next thing you know they will be telling us it takes 60 votes to pass a budget. (The Post’s Glenn Kessler dispenses four Pinocchios to White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew for that bit of rubbish, noting, “a two-time budget director really should know better.”)

Republicans are having a field day, and rightfully so. Obama is running for reelection and banking on the voters’ indifference to our fiscal trajectory. He has once again demonstrated his lack of political courage by refusing to lead on fiscal discipline.

House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) blasts the deal and provides some damning details from the president’s budget:

President Obama’s irresponsible budget is a recipe for a debt crisis and the decline of America. His refusal to honestly confront our nation’s most pressing challenges does real harm to the economic security of millions of American families. The $1.9 trillion tax increase proposed in his budget will make it harder for businesses to create jobs and for workers to spur economic growth. . . .
Spends Too Much:
$47 trillion of government spending over the next decade
Proposes a net increase over current spending projections
Taxes Too Much:
$1.9 trillion in new taxes
◦Raises taxes, not to pay down the debt, but to fuel more government spending
Borrows Too Much:
Four straight years of trillion-dollar-plus deficits; no plan to reduce the debt
Gross debt at the end of FY22: $25.9 trillion
Budget Gimmicks & Broken Promises
Overstates new deficit reduction by taking credit for savings already enacted
Exploits discredited budget gimmick by “not spending” nearly $1 trillion that was never going to be spent

As to the size of the debt, the House and Senate Republican budget committees explain:

Deficit in FY12: $1.3 trillion Deficit in FY13: $901 billion Deficit in FY22: $704 billion
Gross debt accumulated during President’s first term: $6.4 trillion
Gross debt at the end of FY22: $25.9 trillion
Annual interest payments on the debt by FY22: nearly $1 trillion

Virtually every Republican in a House and Senate leadership position has bashed the president’s budget. Mitt Romney’s campaign released a compendium (entitled, “Romney: Obama’s budget is an insult to the American taxpayer”) of his criticisms of Obama’s fiscal policies. Interestingly, Romney also put out a release recapping the praise he received (from Ryan, among others) for tackling entitlements, something Obama has again failed to do.

The way to lose middle class swing voters (aside from overpromising to keep unemployment below 8 percent) is to remind them you are a statist liberal, indifferent to their values and to their concern that the country is heading toward a fiscal train wreck. Obama has taken a big step in that direction, first with the contraception mandate and now with this embarrassing budget.

By  |  01:37 PM ET, 02/13/2012

Categories:  Budget

 
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