Among this budget’s more egregious scandals and shortcomings:
- Mr. Obama’s failed promise to cut the budget deficit in half in four years. After three straight years of trillion-dollar-plus deficits, the 2012 revised deficit worsens under this week’s projections.
- The budget deficit will soar this year to $1.33 trillion, a bit higher than last year’s $1.3 trillion - or $200 billion more than the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently estimated.
- The government’s debt skyrockets under Mr. Obama’s spending policies to $18.7 trillion by 2021 - a stunning 76.5 percent of our economy. That’s double the debt held by investors in 2007, the year before the U.S. economy plunged into a recession, and $1 trillion more than the White House projected in September.
- Mr. Obama’s proposed budgetary house of cards is built on a mountain in tax increases - $1.5 trillion in higher tax levies on big corporations, capital investors and small businesses. Much of the new revenue would come from letting President George W. Bush’s tax cuts expire on individuals earning more than $200,000 and two-earner couples making more than $250,000, whose tax bill would rise to nearly 40 percent.
Mr. Obama insists his budget really cuts spending, but it is hard to see any serious reduction in expenditures in a plan that would pump close to half-a-trillion dollars more into new transportation projects and job-creating “stimulus” spending on public works projects. Where have we heard that before?
In fact, he calls for major spending increases. Among them: a 5 percent raise for the Commerce Department; 2.5 percent more for Education; 3.2 percent more for Energy; 2 percent higher for Transportation; and a 5 percent hike for the National Science Foundation.
The most preposterous assumptions in this budget are the ones projecting a sharp increase in economic growth to make future tax revenue estimates look a lot better than most economists say is likely.
The budget assumes Mr. Obama’s second term will see 3.9 percent economic growth between 2014 to 2017, a pie-in-the-sky forecast no economist is making at this time. This, together with Mr. Obama’s higher taxes, would bring the deficit down to a projected $612 billion in fiscal 2017, according to the administration’s rosy assumptions.
“If you believe that one, Mayor Bloomberg is selling shares in the Brooklyn Bridge,” said University of Maryland economist Peter Morici.
Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and former chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.