Broken promise, broken budget
posted at 2:29 pm on February 14, 2012 by Karl
Kudos to Jake Tapper for reporting the obvious, as so many of his colleagues downplayed it:
“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.
White House flack Jay Carney rationalized:
It was a promise based on what we knew about the economy at the time as has been well established in this briefing and many other places. The economy turns out to have been far worse and in far greater distress when the president was running for office and then took office than we knew at the time.
Really? Obama’s own transition website earlier carried this message:
“Our country faces its most serious economic crisis since the great depression. Working families, who saw their incomes decline by $2,000 in the economic ‘expansion’ from 2000 to 2007, now face even deeper income losses. Retirement savings accounts have lost $2 trillion. Markets have fallen 40% in less than a year. Millions of homeowners who played by the rules can’t meet their mortgage payments and face foreclosure as the value of their homes have plummeted. With credit markets nearly frozen, businesses large and small cannot access the credit they need to meet payroll and create jobs.”
However, if you buy the idea they didn’t know how bad things were at the time, what faith should anyone put in their pronouncements of how we are doing now?
Anyone mistakenly believing Obama has any interest in the budget beyond election-year rhetoric should note that the budget proposed yesterday adds $6.7 trillion in new debt from 2013-22 and projects debt as a share of GDP rising from 74.2 percent this year to 76.5 percent in 2022 (the actual results would almost certainly be much worse, given the Obama budget’s improbable growth estimates). Also, this nifty NYT interactive gadget graphically shows how quickly we’re turning into a HMO with a military, but with much less military.
Recently in the Green Room:
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