President Obama has unveiled his last budget proposal, which calls for $4.1 trillion in spending for FY 2017. In the final year of his presidency Obama is by definition a lame duck. With Republicans in control of Congress–even though it doesn’t always seem like it–he is the lamest possible duck. As always, Obama’s final budget purports to cover the next ten years. But since Obama will be gone in a mere eleven months, why should anyone care what he wants ten years from now?
Investor’s Business Daily points out that 70% of Obama’s budget consists of writing checks to individuals. It’s a sign of the times: the principal purpose of the federal government is one not found in the Constitution, redistributing wealth, most often from the young and middle-aged to the elderly.
Obama’s budget is a fantasy in several respects. It calls for programs that have no chance of being enacted. It relies on economic growth projections that will not be realized. It proclaims goals–stop the Earth’s climate from changing, as it has been doing for millions of years!–that cannot be achieved by any federal action. In one respect, however, it is not a fantasy: it would transfer trillions of dollars from those who earned the money to Democratic Party constituencies, like “green” energy scammers. At bottom, Democratic Party policies are motivated by a cold, hard realism.
Republicans on the House and Senate budget committees have responded to Obama’s budget proposal. Senator Ron Johnson said:
The federal debt totaled $10.6 trillion when President Obama took office. Since then, it has grown by $8.4 trillion. That means that the mountain of debt piled on our children and grandchildren has grown by about $37,600 for every second that Barack Obama has been in office. That is immoral. But worse, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that our current course will add $103 trillion to the total over the next 30 years — or more than $108,000 for every second of the next 30 years. It’s well past time to face the truth and stop this intergenerational theft. We must not make future generations suffer for our inability to limit the size, scope, and cost of big government.
House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price said:
Like every one of his previous budgets, President Obama’s newest plan never balances. Ever. Like all of his previous proposals, it increases spending by trillions of dollars above what we already cannot afford and takes more money out of the pockets of hardworking taxpayers with no plan to address the key drivers of our debt. Under the president’s vision, what we spend on interest on our national debt by 2022 will surpass that which we spend to protect and defend our nation. This is the same approach we have seen time and time again from this administration that continues to lead America down the same path we have been on for the past seven years: one with fewer jobs, lower wages, less opportunity and less security.
The president’s defense of a broken status quo has even received substantial opposition from members of his own party when they have had to actually vote for or against the budgets he proposes. In the days to come, House Republicans will be offering a clear alternative to the president’s stale, big government policies. We will be presenting a positive vision for America’s future with a plan to strengthen our economy, rebuild confidence in our country, give our military the resources they need to carry out their missions, save and strengthen vital programs that will ensure health and retirement security for millions of Americans, and balance the budget. We refuse to accept the status quo.
Everyone knows that the president’s budget will never become law. The key question is, will Congressional Republicans pass spending legislation consistent with their own budgetary plans, or will they fold like a cheap suit when confronted by Harry Reid’s threat to shut down portions of the government unless they go along with the Democrats’ spendthrift ways, as they did last year?