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Posted at 3:31 PM ET, 02/14/2011

Where are the spending cuts?

By Jennifer Rubin

The president has proposed $1.5 trillion in tax hikes over the next decade. You'd think, at the very least, that would drain some of the red ink that the Obama administration has spilled over the past couple of years. How can it be, then, that under President Obama's budget we would have a $3.8 trillion deficit and wind up adding -- a lot -- to the debt over 10 years? It's the spending, you see.

Americans for Tax Reform has the basics:

[T]he President's budget calls for a record level of overspending, after the unprecedented growth of the previous two years. The plan calls for spending to reach $3.8 trillion this year, mounting 25.3 percent of GDP, the highest share since World War II. This pales in comparison to the ten-year outlook; the budget calls for $8.7 trillion in new spending, projecting outlays of $46 trillion over the next decade. . . .

While CBO recently estimated the FY 2011 budget deficit would reach $1.5 trillion, Obama's budget overspends at the highest rate that the country has ever witnessed, creating a $1.65 trillion deficit for FY 2011. The President has falsely alleged the budget will "reduce" the deficit by $1.1 trillion, neglecting to mention that this is less than one tenth of the overspending his budget requires in the next decade.

But isn't he "freezing spending"? Obama is proposing to freeze spending on discretionary spending at its current level, which is already hugely inflated. (Recall that in the Continuing Resolution battle, House Republicans are trying to roll that back for the remainder of this year's budget.)

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R- Wis.) adds some detail:

Despite this year's $1.6 trillion deficit, the President still refuses to change course and reduce spending. Under his budget, the size of government will nearly double since the day he took office. Ignoring both economists' warnings and the public's demands for restraint, the President's explosive growth of government crushes private-sector investment, fuels uncertainty for job creators, and guarantees a less prosperous future for all Americans. The price tag of the President's budget for the next ten years: Total spending: $46 trillion; $8.7 trillion in new spending.

New entitlement spending, beyond assumed growth: $404 billion Increase in non-defense discretionary spending since 2008: 24% (excluding stimulus)Increase in discretionary spending above President's own deficit commission: $353 billion

In sum, Obama has shown no determination to cut spending. In conversations with Republican offices and outside anti-spending groups, it's obvious that conservatives intend to make the most of it.

On the Senate floor this afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), went after the president's budget proposal, saying, "Earlier today, President Obama showed the American people just how he intends to spend their tax dollars, and how much more he intends to borrow, to fund his vision of the future. And it's a huge disappointment to those in both parties who were hoping the President would take this opportunity to address the grave and imminent fiscal crises we face. The President's budget is the clearest sign yet he simply does not take our fiscal problems seriously." He continued on:

The President has already added more than 3 trillion dollars to the debt as we lost another three million jobs. This budget says let's add more debt and see if we get a different result.

The President had an opportunity to cut domestic spending from the 25 percent he's increased it since he came into office. Instead, he locked it in place.

He had an opportunity to start to pay down the tremendous burden of debt that he's added over the past two years. He wants to increase it instead.

He had an opportunity to work with Republicans on reforming long-term entitlements like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. He took a pass.

This is a status quo budget at a time when serious action is needed.

This is business as usual at a time when bold, creative solutions are needed.

This is not an I-got-the-message budget. It's unserious, and it's irresponsible.

Either Obama or the Republicans have misjudged the public's appetite for spending restraint. We'll find out soon enough which side has.

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 14, 2011; 3:31 PM ET
Categories:  Budget  
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Comments

Maybe he's aiming for the stars in the hope that when all the back and forth between Republicans is completed, he gets a budget that's "reduced" to the merely the moon, which still would be stratospherically high and irresponsible.

In 1995, President Clinton faced off with Newt over a govt shutdown and won. However, I wonder if the political winds have changed enough that a similiar type of face off in 2011 will bury Obama rather than Boehner.

Posted by: RitchieEmmons | February 14, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: RitchieEmmons

Methinks the jacking up of the Debt Limit will be a siimiliar process to the tax cut comedy. The Republicans will get some sort of tax break for their pals and everybody will get what they really want,more credit to keep the farce going on for a little while longer.

Posted by: rcaruth | February 14, 2011 5:27 PM | Report abuse

It strikes me that the only people who benefit from US government debt are the ones who purchase it. Maybe the same people loaning the government all this money are the ones paying to elect the people who make all that wonderfull debt possible. Maybe we should remove money from politics. What a thought...

Posted by: johnw3318 | February 14, 2011 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Truly bizarre,

A few days ago, Jennifer was complaining about cuts to defense spending and now asks, where oh where are the spending cuts?

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 16, 2011 12:00 AM | Report abuse

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