February 13 2012
What is so mind-boggling about President Obama’s $3.8 T budget is the cynicism—the president is making no effort to present a budget that could be passed in Congress and get us on the road to a stronger recovery. This is Beltway gamesmanship.
On the other hand, the best thing about this budget is that it has absolutely no chance of passing.
Still, it does show a lot about how the president thinks and previews economic policies should he get a second term.
Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House budget committee, and possibly the best numbers guy in Washington, said in a post that this budget “charts a path to debt and decline.” Ryan writes:
President Obama’s budget worsens our fiscal crisis and speeds the country to bankruptcy.
Three years after the passage of the President’s trillion-dollar spending stimulus, this gimmick-filled budget calls for more wasteful spending taken from workers’ paychecks or borrowed from abroad. The massive spending increases are greater than the few proposed spending reductions.
Moreover, the Obama budget would be bad for job creation and potentially harmful for older people who already depend on Social Security. By refusing to consider necessary reforms for Social Security, the president puts the entire system at risk.
And it is a sneaky budget: Ryan combed through the fine print to find $1.5 T in increased spending concealed by budget gimmicks. Spending over the next decade would be an unsustainable $47 T.
This is a budget that is a grab bag of goodies for those who might be inclined to vote for President Obama. Larry Kudlow calls it a "class-warfare, tax-the-rich budget.” Writing Sunday, Douglas Holtz-Eakin also correctly predicted it would be a soak-the-rich campaign document.
Several reports on the budget say that it “shifts” the burden of bringing down the deficit to the rich. But the top 10 percent of earners already pay 70 percent of federal income taxes. How much more shifting can he do without driving the rich to go on strike?
But you have to admit--this is pure Obama.