- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 7, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Obama administration is throwing hundreds of billions of dollars at a multitude of programs, hoping for economic success. It appears the policies carry out Rahm Emanuel's philosophy of “not letting a crisis go to waste.”

Instead of trying to create jobs to spark the economy, President Obama's proposed budget is diluting our limited resources. It includes a prospective national health care system ($634 billion), promoting alternative energy sources, and making college more available to low-income students.

All these things might be worthwhile over the long term in a burgeoning economy, but they pose a drain in the current recession. The $3.6 trillion budget will provide a deficit of $1.75 trillion in fiscal year 2010 and annual deficits of $1 trillion for many years to come and our national debt will go from $11 trillion to $23 trillion by 2019.

There are around 8,000 pork barrel earmarks in the proposed budget costing an estimated $8 billion. They include: $2.1 million for the Center for Grape Genetics in New York; $1.7 million for a honey bee factory in Texas; $1.7 million for cricket control in Utah; $819,000 for catfish genetics research in Alabama; $650,000 for beaver management in North Carolina and Mississippi; $238,000 for the Polynesian Voyager Society in Hawaii; $200,000 for tattoo removal to help gang members forget their past; and $209,000 to improve blueberry production in Georgia. These earmarks should be axed.

Mr. Obama plans on paying for half the health care costs from increased taxes on families earning more than $250,000 per year, and these families will see a significant decrease in allowable itemized tax deductions for charitable contributions and mortgage interest. These actions will depress charitable contributions during a time of great need. The programs are a means of redistributing money and should not be implemented.

Long-term social programs should be debated only after the economy turns around.

DONALD A. MOSKOWITZ

Londonderry, N.H.

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