It’s pretty hard to stomach when President Obama even talks in terms of cutting the deficit, because his entire economic philosophy compels him to keep spending as if his goal were to impoverish our children and because he continues, in fact, to spend at such bankrupting levels.
Reuters reports that Obama’s proposed budget would cut the deficit by $1.1 trillion over 10 years. Are you kidding me? We wouldn’t even come close to balancing the budget if we applied all those cuts in one year, but spread out over 10 years, they are insulting. Plus, many of these “cuts” would be solely the result of bringing troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan.
We also learned that Obama’s deficit for 2011 would not be the outrageously obscene $1.5 trillion the Congressional Budget Office revealed last month, which was already substantially above last year’s $1.3 trillion, but a staggering $1.65 trillion.
With their signature audacity and cynicism, White House officials dubbed the administration’s 10-year plan a “down payment” on future deficit reduction. I’m not sure that even George Orwell could wrap his arms around such sophistry. To call an enormous increase in an already gargantuan budget deficit a “down payment” on anything (other than this nation’s imminent financial ruin) does violence to the English language.
The administration would have us believe that its enormous deficits are the new baseline and that as long as we keep deficits at, say, $1 trillion, we are moving toward balancing the budget – wholly ignoring that our national debt would be increasing by $1 trillion every year.
You don’t make progress toward balancing the budget by deliberately jacking up federal discretionary spending to unprecedented levels and then locking in those unsustainable figures with a spending freeze. You don’t decrease deficits by first increasing them, and you can never make headway on reducing the national debt until you eliminate deficits altogether.
Putting aside the deceit in the term “down payment,” what is with the administration’s idea that we need to ease into fiscally responsible behavior? How can Obama and company pat themselves on the back for their perpetual deferrals of real budget cuts in exchange for endless empty promises that we’re really going to get serious about this next year or the one after that?
The ugly truth is that they aren’t serious about it, because, in addition to their paltry proposed cuts in discretionary spending, they’re not even pretending to tackle the entitlement crisis, which is where the real fiscal problem lies, as everyone knows.
But get this: Despite these new horrifying budget projections, Obama’s budget director, Jacob Lew, said on CNBC Monday morning, “Our budget also reduces the deficit. We’ve accomplished the goal which the commission set out to accomplish.” Well, that must be news to Erskine Bowles, who heads that commission.
According to the Senate Budget Committee’s ranking member, Jeff Sessions, Bowles said that the president’s budget would come nowhere close to avoiding this fiscal crisis the nation is facing. Sessions said, “The president has not told us the truth.”
Unfazed, Lew insists that Obama’s budget would make a real difference and involve real sacrifice. “What I would tell you about this budget is it has a lot of pain.” Pain? The only pain this budget could possibly cause is to future generations of Americans. Does that ever count for anything with these people?
When pressed about the administration’s utter failure to address entitlements, Lew unapologetically said that it would be pointless to tackle them without bipartisan action. Come on. You can’t possibly have bipartisan action on entitlements when Democrats have no intention of reforming them.
Meanwhile, President Obama says he’s leading us toward “winning the future.” “How?” you might ask. Well, he told a group of middle-school children in Maryland that the only way we can win the future is to make sure “that every American is equipped to compete with any worker, anywhere in the world.” And the only way to do that “is if our government starts living within its means, if we start taking responsibility for our deficits.”
So, let’s make sure we understand him correctly. The only way we can win the future is if we balance the budget, yet he is barely committed even to appreciably reducing our current levels of bankrupting deficits, much less tackling the far greater problem of entitlements. In other words, using his own metric, he’s thrown in the towel on “winning the future,” even while making it his 2012 re-election slogan. And people wonder why some speculate as to whether he’s wreaking this havoc on purpose.
All of this underscores just how imperative it is that Republicans seize this moment. There’s no time to haggle over what $100 billion in cuts would mean or to delay getting behind entitlement restructuring, such as the plan envisioned by Rep. Paul Ryan in “A Roadmap for America’s Future” or one similarly serious. Time’s up, guys.