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  • Obama’s State of the Union Address Dampens Hope for a Real Budget Action

    In his State of the Union Address, President Obama made several commitments to fiscal responsibility in the years to come. What do they really mean though?

    President Obama’s proposed three-year discretionary spending freeze, excludes defense, homeland security, veterans’ and international affairs, is somewhat promising. The savings won’t be large — these programs comprise only one-eighth of the budget ($420 billion), and a freeze might save perhaps $20 billion (0.5 percent of the federal budget). Furthermore, these programs can still feast on their 19 percent hike over the past two years, plus their additional $311 billion in mostly-unspent stimulus funds.

    Though the President deserves credit for picking some of the low-hanging fruit on spending control, if he is serious about righting the fiscal ship, he needs to take tougher actions like canceling TARP, ending the stimulus program, and turning his attention to the tsunami of entitlement programs that threaten to swamp our economy in the years to come. At a time when the deficit is $1.4 trillion and we face a sea of even more red ink, such a freeze is tantamount to bailing out the Titanic with a dixiecup.

    The key question is whether the President’s freeze represents a first small step towards real fiscal responsibility or an attempt to divert nervous taxpayers’ attention away from larger spending increases elsewhere. The President’s continued support for a trillion-dollar health care expansion as well as yet another expensive stimulus bill suggests the latter.

    The President also offered proposals which would expand government and budget deficits (more student aid, health care, energy, and “stimulus”). Yet his accompanying calls to rein in budget deficits were weak: deficit commissions, pay-as-you-go budget rules, and pledges to “go through the budget line by line”. Once again, President Obama is tipping the scales towards more spending, higher taxes, and larger budget deficits.

    Finally, The President’s proposed entitlement commission would have no teeth to tackle surging entitlement spending. It is a hollow gesture, designed to buy time for Congress to kick the can down the road again in an election year so they can pass another huge budget filled with new spending while the Commission dithers away behind closed doors.

    Americans must watch the President closely in the months to come to observe whether or not Wednesday night’s rhetoric makes the transition to reality.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Obama’s State of the Union Address Dampens Hope for a Real Budget Action

    1. Meredith Marshall. S says:

      We need a federal budget based on prior year's revenue, no borrowing! Any surplus must go to the debt. Entitlements should be income based after every dollar paid in is returned to the recipient with interest. People with little or no retirement income will still receive benefits. Wealthy seniors do not need to be suplimented. Stop the insanity. No powers not enumerated in the constitution should be undertaken by the feds. Goodbye Dept of Education,Energy, EPA, Forest Service, etc.Restore the 10th Amendment.

    2. Pingback: Senate Puts Politics Over Fiscal Responsibility In Debt Limit Vote | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    3. Winston says:

      I used to be a Republican leaning conservative, but the more Republicans 'try' to push the blame of the economy onto Obama, and whine about his personality like a bunch of dam hypocrites who think their constituents are a bunch of mindless gullible fools with, about a 2 second memory; either that or they think ALL their constituents are in on the scam that their 'conservative' banker friends pulled off on all of us. The more the Republicans do that, the more I plan to vote against them. Because they're full of shit!

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