Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 9:35 AM ET, 02/14/2011

Obama proposes massive increase in the national debt

By Jennifer Rubin

That's right. For all his talk of fiscal discipline, the president reveals his true priorities in the budget released today. Jake Tapper of ABC reports:

President Obama later today will propose a 10-year budget plan that would increase the national debt by $7.2 trillion over 10 years -- $1.1 trillion less than if it weren't implemented.

The plan shows that Obama will not take the lead on any aggressive measure to eliminate the nation's $14 trillion debt. This sets up the Obama administration on a collision course with Republicans, who are calling for serious deficit reduction and spending cuts. On Friday night, House Republicans unveiled a spending bill to fund the government for the next seven months that they say will reduce the president's requested spending levels this year by at least $100 billion.

Obama seems to have decided on the Bill Clinton strategy -- lay low, make Congress do the hard work, and demagogue serious cuts. A Republican House leadership adviser said simply, "The president punted."

Meanwhile, over on the Senate side, I asked for reaction from Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). He was not impressed. His office provided this response on behalf of the Minority Leader: "The president talks like someone who recognizes that spending is out of control, but so far it hasn't been matched with action. And his only solution to one of the most significant problems facing our country is to lock in spending at levels we all know are completely unsustainable. Americans don't want a spending freeze at unsustainable levels. They want cuts, dramatic cuts. And I hope the president will work with us on achieving them soon." And, his spokesman pointed out, Obama is suggesting "deficit reduction many years in the future."

This is an extraordinary abrogation of leadership. The Republicans have an opportunity to seize the high ground and prove their mettle as fiscal hawks. The GOP House leadership is still working on the Continuing Resolution for 2011, but soon it will have its chance to offer an alternative to Obama's remarkable suggestion that we should massively increase the debt over the next decade.

UPDATE (9:43 a.m.): "Punt" seems to be the word of the day. A House Budget Committee aide emails me: "It looks to be another disappointing presidential punt. The president was elected to solve problems, not avoid criticism. This budget speaks to his concern for his political safety ahead of the social safety net. He's looking to secure his position for the next election rather than secure a prosperous future for the next generation."

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 14, 2011; 9:35 AM ET
Categories:  Budget  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Romney was big CPAC loser
Next: How will Democrats react?

Comments

The Republicans must stand up and not get weak; this is no time to go wobbly. Obama is divorced from fiscal reality, and the American people will divorce him in 2012

Posted by: DocC1 | February 14, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Here's my fondest wish,that in 2012 we have a TeaParty NeoCon President,and Congress is 2/3ds NeoCon TeaParty. Only then,will we learn the truth of the Right's superior ability to govern. And I hope that they retain power for at least twenty years,that way,there will be no debate about the results of two decades of pure conservative leadership. In fact,if Jennifer is right,things would be so great that the Right would remain in power forever,and an Exceptionalist Utopia would forever bless our unique and blessed populace.

Posted by: rcaruth | February 14, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Furthermore,how cowardly is the pathetic and anemic proposal to cut only $100 Billion. That is literally nothing,and LOL,that's not going to happen. $100 Billion is about 7% of the deficit,it does nothing NADA to improve our fiscal condition.
And consider the FACT, that the purchasing power of each dollar is declining,which means that the $100 Billion itself is less than $100 Billion.

Posted by: rcaruth | February 14, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

rcaruth:
I'm curious - what is your definition of a Neo-Con? How is a Neo-Con different from a plain old Conservative? Thanks.

Posted by: paco33 | February 14, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

"Here's my fondest wish,that in 2012 we have a TeaParty NeoCon President,and Congress is 2/3ds NeoCon TeaParty. Only then,will we learn the truth of the Right's superior ability to govern. And I hope that they retain power for at least twenty years,that way,there will be no debate about the results of two decades of pure conservative leadership. In fact,if Jennifer is right,things would be so great that the Right would remain in power forever,and an Exceptionalist Utopia would forever bless our unique and blessed populace"

Nice to see you start to come around RCAR!

Posted by: RitchieEmmons | February 14, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse


rcaruth:
I'm curious - what is your definition of a Neo-Con? How is a Neo-Con different from a plain old Conservative? Thanks.
Posted by: paco33
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&biw=1020&bih=534&q=conservative+neoconservative&aq=f&aqi=g-v1g-sv1&aql=&oq=
Paco,you also might check on the back and forth I had with Ritchie on the Mitt Romney Post.

Posted by: rcaruth | February 14, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company