If America needed more proof that President Obama just doesn’t care what you think anymore, just take a look at his most recent budget. On the heels of his last overwhelming flop of a budget, which was so far to the left that not a single Democrat in the Senate could bring themselves to vote for it, Obama has offered up more of the same. More taxes, more spending, and more deficits.
The president’s budget stands in stark contrast to the promises he made at the beginning of his term.
“We cannot and will not sustain deficits like these without end,” Obama said. “Contrary to the prevailing wisdom we can’t simply spend as we please and defer the consequences to the next budget, the next administration, or the next generation. . . That’s why today I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office.”
Given this is his last budget in his first term (and hopefully ever) we can conclusively chalk this up to another broken promise. In fact, not only did Obama not halve the deficit, he more than doubled it.
According to Obama’s budget, the deficit will be $1.3 trillion this year (the fourth straight year of trillion dollar plus deficits), $901 billion next year, and $704 billion as far out as 2022, the last year shown in the budget window. Over the next ten years the deficit will average close to $800 billion – meaning our national debt will grow from $15 trillion to more than $22 trillion.
A debt that large has significant consequences. Assuming bond markets even allow us to reach that level of indebtedness the annual interest payments on the debt are predicted to rise to nearly $1 trillion by 2022. By comparison that is double the amount of money we currently spend on all non-security discretionary programs. That includes education, investment, job programs, unemployment benefits, and hundreds of other programs that Democrats claim to want to protect.
And that’s a “best case” scenario. As a chart courtesy of the Mercatus Center’s Veronique de Rugy shows, President Obama’s past budgets have dramatically under-predicted future deficits:
If his budget is any guide, dramatically higher debt levels aren’t the only thing Obama has in store. To help “pay” for some of Obama’s new toys, his budget proposes $1.9 trillion in new taxes. Public debt, which crowds out private investment, coupled with higher taxes, that discincentivize productive labor, would be a double whammy for an economy we’ll need to fund Washington’s excess.
Moreover, whether he’s realized it or not, by assuming the expiration of the Bush-era tax rates on higher income earners Obama’s budget reveals the fallacy that soaking the rich is the path to balance. As Rep. Jim Jordan explains, “paying for all the spending President Obama wants would require a huge tax increase on middle class families.”
As it turns out, you just can’t have everything, especially if you do nothing on some of the largest drivers of the deficit.
In what is perhaps the biggest indication that this is nothing more than a political document aimed at wooing voters rather than displaying the leadership necessary to avert a fiscal crisis, Obama’s budget completely ignores Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. These three programs, which together will make up the majority of the spending increases in the coming years, go relatively unmentioned in Obama’s budget. Granted, proposing reforms to popular programs is tough politics, but at this point Americans deserve honesty. And honestly, without significant reforms to America’s entitlement system then balanced budgets are essentially impossible.
At one time Obama realized the threat of ever-higher deficits and debt. He realizes that tough choices would have to be made if America wanted to be provide future generations with the same opportunities. Unfortunately, Obama has since given up on the hard choices. Instead, he’s taking the easy way out. And he doesn’t care what you think about it.