$3.8 trillion? Shame on you, Mr. President
By Carey Roberts
Barack Obama, it's time for a reality check. Sure, I believe in hope and change and all that stuff. But I don't believe in saddling my grandchildren with back-breaking debt or mortgaging the future of our country. As Heritage Foundation's Brian Riedl warns, your budget will "drive debt levels to the point where it would seriously risk a financial crisis."
No doubt about it, last year was a fiscal boondoggle nonpareil: the assorted bailouts, government take-overs, and a stimulus package that was supposed to create 3-4 million jobs. But 2009 has turned out to be a carefree fling, compared to the heavy-breathing orgy that Obama has mapped out for us beginning October 1, 2010.
I admit, I have trouble even conceiving what a nearly $4 trillion budget looks like. So I try to think of a 4 followed by 12 gigantic zeros, interspersed with 4 comas. It looks something like this: $4,000,000,000,000.
Of course the federal government will be forced to go into hock for one-third of the $3.8 trillion. That will expand government spending to a bloated 25% of the gross domestic product.
It's not just the monstrous dollar amount, it's also the devious and dishonest way Obama tried to dupe the average American taxpayer to go along with his spending spree.
First he announced to great fanfare he was planning to institute a domestic spending freeze. Whooppeee!
Then during his State of the Union address the One bragged, "Already, we have made historic strides…to cut wasteful spending." Hooray!
Channeling his inner fiscal conservative, the Spendthrift Seer went on to warn, "We simply cannot continue to spend as if deficits don't have consequences, as if waste doesn't matter, as if the hard-earned tax dollars of the American people can be treated like Monopoly money."
But the epiphany turned out to be short-lived.
Because when the Obama plan came out on Monday, it included billions tucked away for the healthcare reform Plan to Nowhere, the laughable cap and trade bill, and even more dough for the discredited climate control tax bill.
Then there's the $4 billion for an "infrastructure innovation and finance fund," $5 billion for an anti-nuclear proliferation program, and $3 billion for aid-to-education.
For good measure, let's throw in another $25 billion to bail out states that are waist-deep in debt. If the federal government can't keep its financial house in order, how can we expect the states to do any better?
And let's not forget the quarter of a billion dollars to purchase a prison facility in Illinois to detain the terrorists now holed up in Guantanamo Bay.
It gets worse, because the Obama budget brings old-fashioned political patronage to a whole new level of respectability. In Chicago, politicians would slip a twenty into a ward-heeler's outstretched palm, anchor a brother-in-law on the city payroll, or grease the skids with a low-interest real estate deal.
But Obama intends to abscond with billions in taxpayer money in order to reward favored political constituencies. That means the teachers' unions will make out like a bandit in hopes of burnishing the sagging No Child Left Behind program.
Obama is also proposing to increase funding for nine womens' programs – but not a red cent for male-specific projects. If the president really wants to go after ineffective and wasteful programs, he should trim the millions going to abuse shelters, which the federal Office of Management and Budget has declared to be "Not Performing: Results not Demonstrated."
(This is not the first time men have been sucker-punched by the Obama administration. Despite the fact that four out of five persons forced from their jobs by the current recession are male, Obama jimmied the economic stimulus programs so women would benefit disproportionately: www.renewamerica.us/columns/roberts/090723)
Prospects are even gloomier after Fiscal Year 2011, when Obama's budget envisions a robust 4% growth rate in the national economy. But economists say that rose-colored-glasses scenario is overly optimistic.
University of Maryland economist Peter Morici compares the administration's budget proposal to the 1970s when Latin American banana republics were driven into bankruptcy by profligate spending.
Obama's proposal is a noxious mix of bigger-is-better spending, higher taxes, and galloping debt. That's why a recent Research 2000 poll found 63% of Republicans believe Barack Obama is a socialist.
Carey Roberts is a Staff Writer for The New Media Alliance. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.
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