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A fundamentally unserious budget

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:18 pm - February 13, 2012.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Obama Watch

Concluding his post on the president’s budget, Larry Kudlow observes, “The U.S. is in a heap of fiscal trouble — on the verge of bankruptcy“, then asks, “What are we going to do about it?”

The man who as presidential candidate contended we were “living beyond our means” has put forward, as president, yet another budget under which the federal government would act in the manner he decried on the campaign trail.  Obama, Jennifer Rubins writes, “has once again demonstrated his lack of political courage by refusing to lead on fiscal discipline.”  Calling the president the “punter in chief,” Frank Donatelli derides the budget for  kicking “all our fiscal problems down the road, to a day of reckoning“.

This is not a serious budget.  If anything, it is as Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) put it an “entirely political document,” a means to show the special interests which make up his party’s base that he’s committed to their causes.

Even the AP got it, beginning its article with a far more accurate summary than that of Huffington Post:

Taking a pass on reining in government growth, President Obama unveiled a record $3.8 trillion election-year budget plan Monday, calling for stimulus-style spending on roads and schools and tax hikes on the wealthy to help pay the costs. The ideas landed with a thud on Capitol Hill.

He’s not raising taxes to pay down the debt, but as Kudlow put it, “this is a budget that says we must raise taxes in order to raise spending.”

“After having presided over three of the largest deficits in our history” writes Yuval Levin, “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). ”  By contrast, “The national debt increased $4.9 trillion during the eight-year presidency of George W. Bush.” 30% higher in half the time.

Keynesians should rejoice,” opines Veronique de Rugy. “austerity is not coming to the United States anytime soon.”   (more…)

AOL/HuffPo Calls Obama’s Big-Spending Budget “Ambitious”

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 11:14 am - February 13, 2012.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Media Bias

Take a look at how AOL bills the president’s latest budget which like all of his budgets includes a deficit above one trillion dollars.

And the article is no better than the headline. Take a gander at the first paragraph:

President Barack Obama on Monday sent Congress a new budget that seeks to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade while at the same time showering billions of dollars of increased spending on areas aimed at giving the economy a quick boost.

Not until the eleventh paragraph do we learn what deficit reduction means to this Democrat: “Obama’s spending plan for the budget year that begins Oct. 1 projects a deficit for this year of $1.33 trillion. That would mean four straight years of trillion-dollar-plus deficits.”

This reads more like a White House press release than an article news article.  Only in Washington do you call something deficit reduction when you’re cutting your projections of future spending.

In each of those years of projected “deficit reduction”, spending will increase from the year previously.  It’s as if Imelda Marcos, aware of the furor her shoe-buying caused, vowed to reduce the number of pairs of shoes she was planning on buying.  This year, she’s planning on buying 100 (even though her budget only allows for 75 pair).  She had been planning on buying 110 next year and 120 the year after that.  Now she’s only planning on buying 106 pairs next year and 112 the year after that.

If she talked as does the Obama administration, she’d still be planning to buy more shoes while calling her anticipated purchases a reduction in shoe-buying. (more…)

On Obama and economic theories at odds with economic reality

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:41 am - February 13, 2012.
Filed under: Civil Discourse,Economy,Obama Incompetence

No, Obama doesn’t want to wreck the economy; he’s just clueless about how to fix it.  He — and many of his supporters — really do believe Keynesian theory.

And, no, Republicans don’t want to “wreck the economy” in order to hurt Obama’s reelection prospects.  We just don’t think big government schemes will work to effect a sustained and robust recovery.  And have evidence to back up our contention.  Large public sectors really do reduce economic growth.

Rick Repudiates Reagan Republicanism

If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals–if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.

Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1975

I am not a libertarian, and I fight very strongly against libertarian influence within the Republican Party and the conservative movement. I don’t think the libertarians have it right when it comes to what the Constitution is all about.

Rick Santorum 2012