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.
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.” Not only does “Cutting spending in this case” mean smaller increases in spending than the president “had hoped for in the past”, but the package also includes increases in certain programs, using “phantom savings to raise spending on what [the president] calls ‘Investment on surface transportation’ by $125 billion.”
“And,” Kudlow observes, “there is no overall entitlement reform.”
The team that put this together is, simply put, not qualified to lead the nation at a time of fiscal crisis. They’re just not willing to face up to the nation’s pressing problems.