House Speaker John A. Boehner’s got a problem. With great fanfare, President Obama delivered his fiscal 2015 budget to Congress on Tuesday, but “global warming” has the grounds around the Capitol frozen as hard as concrete. Mr. Boehner and the House have nowhere to bury the president’s budget.
Republicans have given up the fiscal fight, but they’re not quite irresponsible enough to approve a spending blueprint that adds another $8 trillion in borrowing over the next decade to the $17.5 trillion in existing debt.
Mr. Obama will leave Washington for a luxurious retirement in Hawaii on Jan. 20, 2017, a little less than three years from now. Before he goes, he’s asking for a 24 percent increase in spending over last year.
Over the course of a decade, it adds up to a 71 percent boost in expenditures. It’s not enough for the government to spend $3.5 trillion a year. Mr. Obama wants to spend $5.9 trillion.
The White House apparently thinks the government is doing such a swell job that it’s entitled to a greater share of everyone’s money. “Our budget is about choices,” the president says. “It’s about our values.”
This administration thinks business must sacrifice itself so that the government can thrive. Where’s the value in that?
The Obama budget celebrates government as the source of prosperity. Need a baby sitter? The Obama budget will “pay for child care.” Worried that Social Security won’t be enough? Mr. Obama will invest money for you with a new myRA account that loses money over the years.
Need a college degree? The Obama budget will “pay for college.” It wasn’t so long ago that the way to pay for college was getting a job, but the current policies take that option off the table.
The Obama budget says these spending extravagances will be “fully offset” by raising taxes on small businesses that file on an individual tax return. This is called “closing loopholes” that the rich have been exploiting.
Recent college and high school graduates are more likely to call it “another year of unemployment.” Businessmen sending more money to the IRS won’t be able to pay the salaries of new hires.
Mr. Obama says he knows how to invest money more wisely than those who know the market. His budget includes “over $1 billion in new funding for new technologies to help communities prepare for a changing climate today, and set up incentives to build smarter and more resilient infrastructure.”
We’ve learned how that goes. Expect more Solyndras, Fisker Automotives and First Solars — companies long on green promise that delivered only red ink. They took billions in taxpayer support and went bust.
Mr. Obama boasts of his high-tech iPod and its Jay-Z playlist, and thinks his budget, like his high-tech toys, is smarter, newer and more resilient. If he wants an accurate metaphor, his budget is a scratched vinyl 45, with Guy Lombardo’s Greatest Hits, bequeathed by the Carter administration.
The House speaker didn’t have to crack open this budget to learn exactly what’s in it: More government, more hobbles for private enterprise. He just needs to wait for the lawn to thaw to put the scheme where it belongs.