“‘This is big,’ wrote White House director of new media Macon Phillips in a February 23, 2009 blog post, ‘the President today promised that by the end of his first term, he will cut in half the massive federal deficit we’ve inherited. And we’ll do it in a new way: honestly and candidly.’
“Indeed, President Obama did make that promise that day, saying, ‘today I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office. This will not be easy. It will require us to make difficult decisions and face challenges we’ve long neglected. But I refuse to leave our children with a debt that they cannot repay — and that means taking responsibility right now, in this administration, for getting our spending under control.’
“The 2013 budget the president submitted today does not come close to meeting this promise of being reduced to $650 billion for fiscal year 2013.”
“Let’s recall that this document lays out what President Obama wants to do in terms of fiscal policy in the coming years. It is what he would do if he were completely free to act as he chose. And what would that be? After having presided over three of the largest deficits in our history, the president wants to go for four, and to end his term having added $6.4 trillion to the nation’s gross debt (about as much total debt in four years as the United States amassed in its first 225 years combined). He proposes to spend more next year than this year (and next year is the only year for which this budget would actually be the budget), he offers no meaningful entitlement reform (and therefore no way out of an oncoming debt crisis), and to soften the blow he filters his spending numbers through a series of patently transparent and insulting gimmicks (for instance, he counts as savings from the Iraq and Afghanistan drawdowns money that was never even requested or budgeted in the first place, he counts interest savings from tax increases as spending cuts, he relies on completely unrealistic growth projections for the coming years, and on and on).
“Of course, this is par for the course for this president. His budget documents have all been studies in the dereliction of duty. And it’s true that this particular act of dereliction has in it more elements of class warfare and punitive and economically damaging targeted tax increases than the past ones. But as we take note of that added layer of misguided political economy, we should not lose sight of the underlying scandal—the president’s complete lack of interest in addressing the mounting fiscal crisis which his policies have so severely exacerbated, and his readiness to allow our government’s finances to collapse around him (or rather around his wretched successor) and to burden our children with an unprecedented and unbearable burden of debt.”
ANDREA MITCHELL: With us now is acting Budget Director, Jeffrey Zients, thanks so much. First of all, they renamed your budget “debt on arrival.” What is your response to that?
JEFFREY ZIENTS: I think the President has put forward today a balanced budget. Balanced in two ways. First of all, the President invests and makes immediate investments in job creation, starting with making sure that the payroll tax cut continues, and that we do not have a tax increase on 160 million Americans. The President also has proposals to put Americans back to work, on infrastructure projects, to modernize our schools, to help rebuild our neighborhoods. At the same time, we have year over year of deficit reduction, leading to a stable debt to GDP ratio by 2018. So it’s balanced, in that we have immediate job creation and then we have deficit reduction. And the deficit reduction itself is done in a balanced way. $2.50 of spending cuts for every dollar of new revenue. So I think this is a responsible budget and we hope Congress takes it seriously and passes it’s into law soon.
Via the Daily Caller.
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