"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Monday, February 14, 2011

The President's Budget - Not Serious

President Obama released his FY 2012 budget today, and it is an astonishing document.   In my 51 years I don't think I've ever seen a President abdicate leadership with such gusto, as if he simply doesn't care what happens to his country.  It's a deeply unserious proposal that borders on impeachable -- a President, after all, is bound by his oath to of office to "faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States," and to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."  This budget does neither, and does so with a degree of cynicism that is palpable.  Obama clearly wants to force Republicans to propose cuts, and then plans to demagogue those cuts as heartless or cruel, even while the country goes off a fiscal cliff from which there will be no return.  

Here are the key facts, drawn from The Corner on National Review Online: 

$3.73 trillion — total spending this year (25 percent of GDP, highest levels since World War Two).
$46 trillion — total spending over the next decade.
$8.7 trillion — total new spending over the same period.
$26.3 trillion — Total new debt, including entitlement obligations, predicted by 2021.
$7.2 trillion — Total deficit predicted by the end of the decade.
$1.1 trillion — How much the White House estimates the proposal will reduce the deficit over the next ten years.
$4 trillion — How much the president’s deficit commission recommended reducing the deficit over the next ten years to avoid financial catastrophe.
$1.6 trillion — The projected annual deficit for 2011 (11 percent of GDP), up from $1.3 trillion in 2010.
$2 trillion — Amount the budget will raise taxes on business and upper-income families over the next ten years, which includes letting the Bush-era tax rates expire in 2012 (for incomes $250,000 and up).
$50 billion — Amount the administration plans to spend this year on infrastructure and transportation “investments.”
$30 billion — Amount dedicated to a “National Infrastructure Bank to invest in projects of regional or national significance to the economy,” including the much-touted high-speed rail initiative.
$77.4 billion — Funding allocated for the Department of Education, a 22 percent increase from 2010 levels, and a 35 percent increase from 2008 levels.
$29.5 billion — Total spending on the Department of Energy, a 22 percent increase from 2008 levels.
$9.9 billion — Funding allocated for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a 30 percent increase from 2008 levels.
$150 billion — Total amount the White House plans to spend next year on research and development programs.
If your brother-in-law was deeply in debt, to the point where you feared from the security of your sister and your nieces and nephews, and yet he was proposing borrowing hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next few years in order to finance some get-rich-quick scheme and to maintain a lavish lifestyle that his income has never been able to support, wouldn't you at some point think it was time for a family intervention?   Obama and the Democrats are the profligate children in the American family.   It's time for the adults to intervene.  

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