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  • So, Where Is the President's Solution to the Fiscal Crisis?

    If President Obama wants to challenge the House Republican budget passed last week, he certainly should. His views would be more enlightening, however, if they actually said something substantial, instead of the shrill hyperbole he repeated today.

    In a speech at an Associated Press luncheon, Mr. Obama branded the House budget “thinly veiled social Darwinism” and “antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity.” He said the plan, authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan (R–WI), would “impose a radical vision on our country” and was a “prescription for decline.”

    Well. The Ryan budget is not above a degree of criticism – but it is hardly radical. Its policies are measured and carefully crafted, rooted in sound conservative principles, and aimed at winning consensus. If anything, Ryan’s budget would benefit from more aggressive entitlement reforms—it makes no changes in Medicare and Social Security until 10 years from now. The $331 billion in entitlement savings it calls for over the next 10 years is less than 1 percent of what the federal government will spend in that time, and it is just slightly more than one-fourth of the $1.2 trillion sequestration, scheduled to start in January, that will jeopardize military readiness and slash indiscriminately at a range of domestic programs.

    Still, the great virtue of the Ryan budget is it’s the only serious plan that has passed a committee and a chamber of Congress.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Obama —while presiding over the fourth straight trillion-dollar-plus deficit of his tenure—acts as if no problem exists. He shunned the recommendations of his own fiscal commission, which called for $4 trillion in deficit reduction. He did an elaborate high-wire act with the House Speaker last year, at the end of which the President got his $2.1 trillion debt ceiling increase without agreeing to a penny of entitlement savings. His budget this year tries to claim credit for $5 trillion in deficit reduction, most of which comes from already enacted legislation, phony war savings, tax hikes, and reduced interest costs. He offers no serious entitlement reforms, merely chipping around the edges. Yet even if all his alleged “deficit reduction” policies were adopted, the President’s budget would increase publicly held debt to more than 76 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2022.

    Beyond the next decade, the President’s policies make matters even worse—by the Administration’s own admission. Buried on page 59 of the Analytical Perspectives—one of four volumes that make up the President’s budget submission—is an alarming chart showing the debt-to-GDP ratio rising to 103 percent by 2040 and continuing inexorably upward from then on.

    “[T]he deficit and debt begin to rise again in the period after 2022,” says the explanatory text, “with the debt-to-GDP ratio far exceeding its previous peak level reached at the end of World War II.” (That peak was 108.7 percent in 1946.)

    In response to this looming fiscal crisis, what does the President offer? More accusatory rhetoric. A President has an obligation to do more. He should at least advance a set of proposals that he believes could start changing the government’s disastrous fiscal course, as the Ryan budget aims to do.

    But then again, perhaps in this, as in other matters, he expects to have more “flexibility” in the future.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to So, Where Is the President's Solution to the Fiscal Crisis?

    1. Steve says:

      Correct me if I am wrong, but the President cannot present a budget, he can only approve or disapprove of it, right?

      If I am right, and he cannot propose a budget, it would be disengenous of him to present one. And if I am correct and he did present a budget, wouldn't you call him down for it?

      • Stirling says:

        He actually does purpose a budget every year (mandatory by law).. The issue is that even his party votes it down (since it is not something anyone Democrat wants to tell their constituents that they support.) His budget was voted down like 451-0.. But he continues to blame republicans for stoping his budgets..

        Most presidents will accept compromise to get something passed, but this president has taken the "My way or the highway" stance, along with a Dem controlled senate in blocking any GOP house passed measures.. So yes it is the presidents fault..

    2. Bill W says:

      Steve–you are wrong.

      The President, according to the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, must submit a budget to Congress each year. In its current form, federal budget legislation law (31 U.S.C. 1105(a)) specifies that the President submit a budget between the first Monday in January and the first Monday in February. In recent times, the President's budget submission, entitled Budget of the U.S. Government, has been issued in the first week of February.
      It has been this way for 1000+ days, or 100% of the Obama Administration’s tenure, as well as 100% of the Democrat’s trifecta: when not one Republican vote was actually needed to pass a budget.
      Mr. Obama has failed to presnent or get an approved budget for 3 years!

    3. R C says:

      The Socialist in Chief wants to tear our Country apart. His retoric is divisive, his policies are divisive and now all he can do when challenged is acuse the US supreme Court of activism. Excuse me, aren't his CZARS unelected? Is Kathleen Sebeleous elected by we the people! He is a Coward and a Hypocrit. Maybe we can send him back to Indonesea in November!!!!!!!!!!

    4. Bobbie says:

      Steve, what's the difference between the "President" and the "democratic party" he speaks for? Nothing! neither do their job without violating the constitution and the democratic party has been no more than derelict in their duty to propose a budget without accountability to anything. The only time the President is called on something is when he violates the American peoples' constitution. Pathetic in respect and leadership.

      So, Where Is the President’s Solution to the Fiscal Crisis? Sticking with Ryan's necessary, intellectual budget and removing the President's intentionally misinterpreted American peoples' constitution!

    5. harley waybill says:

      Are you serious about considering the Ryan budget serious, and for that matter, about considering Ryan serious? Our president talks about "Social Darwinism" and this is, I think completely fair, but its about the plainest he can speak without compromising his own dignity. Since I have no such burden of dignity, I can say that Paul Ryan is a dangerous loon, and Ayn Rand is doing a happy dance somewhere in hell about this "budget" of his.

    6. Bobbie says:

      socialism over freedom? you sadly choose weakness over strength!

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