EDITORIAL: Budget busted, nation broken

The president’s budget is only more tax and spend

The White House was supposed to have submitted its budget two months ago. Now that it finally got around to outlining the federal government’s plans for the fiscal year, we can see that it wasn’t worth the wait.

House Speaker John A. Boehner summed up the disappointment at his press briefing Thursday: “It’s not serious, and it’ll cost our economy more jobs.”

Perhaps the last four attempts at a budget should have been a clue. President Obama’s inaugural offering bore the optimistic title, “A New Era of Responsibility: Renewing America’s Promise.” That has now been replaced with the dull reality of a cover page stamped, “Budget of the U.S. Government.” Perhaps this is a recognition that “responsibility” is not the right word to describe a series of budgets that have added $6.1 trillion to the public debt.

The Office of Management and Budget, which always selects the rosiest of scenarios, says the new White House spending blueprint will add another $6.6 trillion in public debt over the decade. It likely will be much worse. As the National Taxpayers Union notes, the president’s first budget predicted today’s deficit would be $512 billion a figure that proved to be optimistic by 90 percent.

Deficits and debt will pile up because nothing is done about spending. Last year’s $3.5 trillion in outlays jumps to $4.5 trillion within five years. Beyond that, taxpayers will be soaked for $1.5 trillion in new revenue over the same period, and more tax increases are on the way.

Mr. Obama won with “taxing the rich” in his last budget deal, and Obamacare taxes on the wealthy have already kicked in, but the new budget proposes to rub it in with another implementation of the “Buffett Rule” tax on high-income job creators.

The new budget does contain a handful of recommendations for trimming waste, but most of it ends up in the category of smoke and mirrors, such as the gimmick of counting the “savings” from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as a cut. Not one dime will actually be “saved” in the discretionary budget until fiscal year 2017, about the time Mr. Obama will start packing his bags for Chicago, no doubt figuring his mission has been accomplished.

Mr. Obama’s budget submission is actually a mere political statement, not a serious attempt to guide the federal government. Consider the preface, where Mr. Obama writes, “We can protect our Second Amendment rights while coming together around reforms like eliminating background check loopholes to make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun common-sense reforms that will help protect our kids from the scourge of gun violence that has plagued too many communities across the country.”

It says a lot that Senate Democrats proved more responsible by $1 trillion than the president. The president’s budget is a wish list, not a budget. The actual budget is the budget passed by the House. It’s the only real game in town.

The Washington Times

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