The Washington Post

A budget divorced from reality

Carter is right: The budget is still on my mind, but I’m close to surrender.

Why not see the glass half-full? No one should be completely disappointed in the president’s budget. No one is told no.

Even us pro-growth types are promised 3 percent growth in 2013 and then almost doubling growth compared to last year’s rate, rising all the way to 4.1 percent by 2015. There is no rational explanation of where those numbers come from, and all the previous estimates have been wrong, but in Washington, there is still room for hope and denial over experience and facts. These GDP numbers just appear, despite whacking the economy with multiple tax increases. Is there a pro-growth tax increase? The president must think so.

Mitt Romney said something worthwhile in his CPAC speech. I don’t know if he has said it in the past or if he will be repeating it now. He said he would look at government spending and make decisions by asking if we could afford something or if it was worth borrowing more money from the Chinese to pay for it. President Obama and the Democrats are all about making people pay their fair share. Well, President Obama obviously thinks future Americans need to pay more to China. The Chinese need their fair share of our children’s money, too. I know this sounds curt, but it is unavoidably true. I assume Chinese leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping, who is currently visiting America, is sincerely happy with this budget.

I wish more of our election were about this. We aren’t just missing a chance for a real political debate about what matters, we are making it harder to force our politics to become more reality-based so that there is some rational connection between our campaigns and the future we want to have.

Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.


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