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“Steep Cuts?” Even the Left Is Starting to Notice

Liberal press outlets are reporting, generally without criticism, the Obama administration’s claim that its FY 2012 budget embodies “steep cuts” in federal spending over the coming decade. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, let’s look at what federal spending would be until 2021 on the (admittedly silly) assumption that Obama’s future projections are correct. Figures through FY 2010 are actual, those thereafter are Obama’s budget projections; click to enlarge:
FederalSpending0471.002.jpg
Do you see any “steep cuts” in prospect? No. What we see is an effort to lock in the enormous increase in the federal budget that has taken place in the last two years, followed by a resumption of accelerating growth in the public sector.
Even some on the Left are starting to notice what a charlatan President Obama is. It is not our habit to quote Andrew Sullivan, heretofore one of Obama’s most slavish fans, but today Sullivan left the reservation, at least for the moment. His headline: “Obama To The Next Generation: Screw You, Suckers.”

[T]he core challenge of this time is not the cost of discretionary spending. Obama knows this; everyone knows this. The crisis is the cost of future entitlements and defense, about which Obama proposes nothing. [Ed.: Actually it's entitlements, but Sullivan is a liberal.]
… [I]n a mere nine years, entitlements will account for 64 percent of all federal spending. And Obama just punted on his promise to cut Medicare payments to doctors, as pledged under Obamacare as a core part of the case that health insurance reform would cut the deficit. … We can chalk that up as a cynical diversion (even though Obama pledges to find savings elsewhere in the Medicare budget to make up for this lie – a promise we now have no reason to trust or believe). …
[T]his president is too weak, too cautious, too beholden to politics over policy to lead. In this budget, in his refusal to do anything concrete to tackle the looming entitlement debt, in his failure to address the generational injustice, in his blithe indifference to the increasing danger of default, he has betrayed those of us who took him to be a serious president prepared to put the good of the country before his short term political interests. Like his State of the Union, this budget is good short term politics but such a massive pile of fiscal bullshit it makes it perfectly clear that Obama is kicking this vital issue down the road.
To all those under 30 who worked so hard to get this man elected, know this: he just screwed you over. He thinks you’re fools.

I suppose Sullivan was one of the last to figure this out. The only mystery is why anyone would be surprised by Obama’s failure to lead. Can you name a single occasion in his life when Obama has ever shown leadership? I can’t.
Obama’s game is transparent, isn’t it? He is playing a game of chicken. He puts forward a series of proposals that he knows are more or less insane; but he also believes that Republicans will come to his rescue. They, not being wholly irresponsible, will come up with plans to reform entitlements–like, for example, the Ryan Roadmap. Ultimately, some combination of those plans will be implemented because the alternative is the collapse, not just of the government of the United States, but of the country itself. But Obama thinks the GOP’s reforms will be unpopular, and he will be able to demagogue them, thus having his cake and eating it too. Is that leadership? Of course not. But it is the very essence of Barack Obama.

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