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LAMBRO: Spending’s just another word for nothing left to lose
Obama’s easy leap from billions to trillions
Question of the Day
Mr. Obama, who is a master of class warfare and flimflam political rhetoric, tries to sugarcoat all this spending and added debt by saying, “Our budget is about choices. It’s about values.”
If you read the fine print in the president’s budget, you’ll see a shocking forecast that The Post says — in a massive bit of understatement — “does not paint an overly optimistic picture of economic growth.”
After trillions of dollars in new spending, the president’s budget forecasts that the economy will slowly grow by a mediocre 2.6 percent a year over the next decade.
That’s not anywhere near the economic-growth rate needed to bring the jobless rates down to normal levels, let alone keep up with worker population growth, economists say.
The American economy is certainly capable of doing a lot better than that, but only with policies and incentives to unlock trillions of dollars in investment capital that have been sitting on the sidelines since Mr. Obama took office in 2009.
In addition to sweeping tax reforms to cleanse the tax code of loopholes and exemptions, and lower the rates — for which Mr. Obama pays only lip service — we need to curb the cost of government, which is smothering our economy, killing jobs and reducing economic opportunity.
When Mr. Obama became president, the annual budget was just a little more than $3 trillion. In just his sixth year in office, he’s calling for a nearly $4 trillion budget, which will be well over that threshold by the time he leaves office in January 2017.
A federal budget that is growing by more than $1 trillion every eight years is a prescription for economic disaster that needs to be fixed, and fast.
Mr. Obama is not the least bit interested in any serious budget-cutting, unless it is whacking away at our defense needs. He’s even given up on doing anything on entitlements.
Mr. Obama prefers to use the word “investments” when he talks about his big-spending plans, but government audits and a trail of debts show he’s wasted billions in tax dollars and has created relatively few permanent, full-time jobs.
“A billion here, a billion there and pretty soon we’re talking real money” is a quip attributed to then-Sen. Everett Dirksen, Illinois Republican, in the 1960s.
Fast-forward to Mr. Obama, who’s upped the numbers to a trillion here, a trillion there, and he isn’t joking.
Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and contributor to The Washington Times.
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