If you are a regular reader of this web site, you know a lot about President Obama’s FY 2013 budget, which he unveiled earlier this week. You know that the budget proposes to increase federal taxes, spending and debt and does nothing, or virtually nothing, to address the looming federal debt crisis. You know that the claims the administration has made about $4 trillion in debt reduction are false. You know that Obama’s FY 2013 budget represents an admission of failure with respect to some of his key campaign promises and predictions he made in prior years.
You know that Obama’s acting OMB Director, Jeffrey Zients, appeared before the Senate and House Budget Committees to defend the budget and encountered rough sledding. Among other things, Senator Jeff Sessions asked Zients whether the president’s budget increases spending compared with current law, and Zients was unable or unwilling to answer the question. You know that Tim Geithner followed Zients to the Senate Budget Committee hearing room, and he, too, was unable to say whether Obama’s budget increases federal spending. (It does, both in comparison with current law, as represented by the Budget Control Act, and in absolute terms, by 46% from FY FY 2012 to FY 2021.) You know that the administration’s claim that its budget contains $2.50 in spending cuts for every dollar in tax increases is ridiculous. You know that, despite his confusion on other points, Geithner testified for the second year in a row that President Obama’s budget is “unsustainable.”
All of the above would seem to be big news. The United States is hurtling down a road that leads to the collapse we now see in Greece and other European countries. President Obama has no plan to deal with the nation’s debt crisis, other than to hold the accelerator firmly to the floor. And, in order to facilitate Obama’s fiscal recklessness, his administration has lied freely about its own budget. (Sorry, there isn’t any nice way to put it.)
So, every newspaper in America must be on top of this explosive story, right? Actually, no. Every newspaper in America is absorbed with Rick Santorum’s views on birth control. The fiscal future of our country and the trillions of dollars of debt that the Obama administration is heaping on our children are topics of remarkably little interest. I searched three leading liberal newspapers, the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times: neither the New York Times nor the L.A. Times had run a single story about the Congressional hearings on the FY 2013 budget. The Post had done only slightly better; it failed to report on Zeintz’s testimony and, while it did run a short item on Geithner’s Budget Committee appearance, it failed to note either his admission that Obama’s budget is unsustainable or his inability to say whether the budget increases spending. A citizen who relies on those papers (and hundreds of others like them) for news has no idea of the dramatic events of the last few days that have shown Obama’s claims for his budget to be riddled with deception, and his administration’s spokesmen to be unable to answer, honestly, the simplest questions about their plans for the nation’s future.
Maybe next time Jeff Sessions and Paul Ryan schedule hearings on the President’s budget proposal, they should tell reporters the subject will be the federal budget for contraceptives. Maybe that way they could get some reporters to pay attention.