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Rejecting Restraint: President's Budget Punts on Prudence


Posted by Mattie Duppler on Monday, February 14th, 2011, 1:02 PM PERMALINK


With the release of his FY 2012 budget today, the President is attempting to brand reckless spending and higher taxes as fiscal reform. In reality, this is the same foolhardy budgeting we’ve seen over the past two years of the Obama Administration, with one difference: more spending.

Record overspending – the President’s budget calls for a record level of overspending, after the unprecedented growth of the previous two years. The plan calls for spending to reach $3.8 trillion this year, mounting 25.3 percent of GDP, the highest share since World War II. This pales in comparison to the ten-year outlook; the budget calls for $8.7 trillion in new spending, projecting outlays of $46 trillion over the next decade.

Digging the hole deeper - While CBO recently estimated the FY 2011 budget deficit would reach $1.5 trillion, President Obama’s budget overspends at the highest rate that country has ever witnessed, creating a $1.65 trillion deficit for FY 2011. The President has falsely alleged the budget will “reduce” the deficit by $1.1 trillion, neglecting to mention that this is less than one tenth of the overspending his budget requires in the next decade.

Increases taxes to fuel higher spending – Instead of cutting spending, the President is increasing taxes to grow government. The budget hikes taxes by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years while spending almost ten times that in the same period.

Spending “freeze” is not restraint – While House Republicans will introduce the first Continuing Resolution this week that actually cuts spending, the President’s budget hopes to scam taxpayers on the idea of a spending “freeze,” establishing the explosion in discretionary spending as the baseline for government growth in the future.

Spending the spending “cuts” – The President’s budget adopts the recommendations by Defense Secretary Gates that claim to cut Pentagon spending by $78 billion over the next five years. In fact, the spending cuts are plowed back into military budgets to cover overhead costs and allow for a full percentage point of growth over the next decade. The plan would increase Pentagon spending by $8 billion in the first fiscal year alone.

Extends and expands wasteful “stimulus” spending – after 2 years of government spending unemployment remains high and economic recovery is still illusive. However, the President’s budget assumes more of the same, allocating over $50 billion for his Administration’s Race to the Top education program that has already bloated state obligations and the White House pet project of high-speed rail, which has received billions in “stimulus” funds but done little to spur economic growth.

Ignores unsustainable entitlement spending – the President’s budget is notably silent on the explosive growth of Medicare and Social Security spending. Instead of scrutinizing these mandatory behemoths, the budget calls for $404 billion in spending beyond projected growth on these programs.

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