The President’s State of the Union made one thing clear: this administration refuses to learn from the mistakes of its past. Without learning from the following failures, taxpayers will be doomed to repeat the last two years of big government suffocation and economic stagnation.
“Stimulus” by any other name is still a failure.In February of 2009, the President threatened that absent unprecedented infusion of taxpayer dollars under the guise of “stimulus,” unemployment would reach 8.0 percent. Today, after 23 months of “stimulus,” unemployment has teetered above 9 percent for nineteen months.
A Spending freeze is not restraint. In lieu of decreasing the burden of government, the President continues to promote a spending “freeze,” incorporating his administration’s reckless spending binge permanently in spending baselines, and exempting the ballooning bottom lines of mandatory and military spending from any reform.
Earmarks are not in the eye of the beholder.While the Republican caucuses in both the House and Senate have pledged to ban earmarks this Congress, the White House recently made clear earmarks were excusable so long as they benefitted friends of the administration – instead of promising to veto legislation with earmarks in it, the President should refrain from reversing his own rules on accountability in spending.
Pet Projects for Thee but not for Me.The President was quick to expound on his favorite item of “investment,” high-speed rail, despite his acrimony against Congressional earmarking of pet projects. High-speed rail, which received $8 billion in the first “stimulus” bill but has yet to produce any trains, is already outpacing cost projections and is proposed in places where it is unwanted and unnecessary, is the tab taxpayers are forced to pick up by an administration that wants to keep union workers happy.
You aren’t cutting spending if you spend the cuts. The President was quick to promote spending cuts proposed by Defense Secretary Gates this month as spending “cuts.” However, the Pentagon’s plan plows the rescissions back into the Department of Defense, and still allows for a full percentage of growth over the next ten years. This isn’t doing more with less – it’s doing more with more.
Stop baiting the states with “stimulus” funds.Calling his administration’s Race to the Top education program a “competition,” the President failed to mention the program dangles federal funds in the face of gullible states, who are already struggling to meet the obligations attached to other federal ‘stimulus” funds. The President should be loath to continue to promote this foolhardy budgeting by the states, who are facing a cumulative $72 billion overspending problem in 2011.
Focusing on the deficit ignores the problem.History shows that every call to “fix” the deficit has been met with tax hikes to fuel higher spending. The President shows his hand by claiming his freeze will close the deficit – without mentioning that it still requires spending over $10 trillion over the next five years. Taxpayers deserve better.