Framing the Dialogue

Barry’s Choice

We were blessed on Valentine’s Day with the release of the Obama Administration’s 2012 budget proposal.  The cover of the document perhaps should have been red, but give him credit Obama is coming out swinging in defense of his vision for our economic future (sound of toilet flushing in the distance).  It is an interesting tactic to produce this and immediately have his lackeys and media dogs go on the attack because the Republicans have not given their proposal for the 2012 budget.  Perhaps that is because they are working to cut from the current budget before taking on the next one.  The 2011 bloated Democrat budget is not a done deal.

Sounding ever the “centrist” he is trying hard to channel Reagan, but keeps coming up Carter in defense of his budget,

“This is not a matter of, `you go first, I go first.  It’s a matter of everybody having a serious conversation about where we want to go and then ultimately getting in that boat at the same time so it doesn’t tip over.”

I am probably used to much smaller boats (he didn’t use the word ship), but when everyone tries to get into say a canoe the thing that happens is that it actually does tip over.  You would think that someone born and raised in Hawaii would have a better sense of boating.  This budget is so fat that even some of his biggest supporters like the New York Time had a hard time defending the numbers.   Here are some high(low)lights; many from a Heritage Foundation analysis:

  • The Heritage Foundation noted that this Obama quote was prominently displayed on the Office of Management and Budget website upon the release of the document,

“Rather than fight the same tired battles that have dominated Washington for decades, it’s time to try something new. Let’s invest in our people without leaving them a mountain of debt.”

  • President Obama made great fanfare over the creation of his Deficit Commission yet basically ignored their recommendations.  Perhaps the “bipartisan” commission got in the boat at different times.
  • The President actually went first to get out ahead of the Republicans noting that, “This is not an abstraction. The key here is for people to be practical and not score political points. That’s true for all of us.”
  • After two years of massive increases in discretionary spending, Mr. Obama proposes to reduce discretionary spending by a paltry five percent.  
  • In order to protect pet expenditures he is reclassifying them from “discretionary” to “mandatory.”
  • In order to cut military budgets he classifies the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as “overseas contingency operations” and makes them discretionary.  He knows that the resulting $38.2 billion cut will not be made.
  • The president has renewed his often broken promise to oppose earmarks.  I guess that he “opposes” them; he just doesn’t want to veto them.
  • He proposes a “tax cut” by raising the top tax rate on capital gains and dividends to 20 percent from 15 percent.
  • Never one to keep a promise, his budget takes away the “Bush tax cuts” for wealthier Americans even though he just agreed to this late last year.  Perhaps he simply forgot.
  • “He proposes to prevent the Alternative Minimum Tax from rising in 2013, and then in classic Washington style proposes $321 billion in new tax hikes to offset the cost of not raising taxes.” [Heritage]
  • The President’s budget uses very optimistic economic scenarios that even the “non-partisan” CBO won’t use to INCREASE our national debt from $9.5 trillion to $16.7 trillion in 2021.  Many estimates are much higher.
  • He stated that this budget would cut the deficit by $1.1 trillion dollars…OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS.
  • Please reread the last two bullet points and explain that to me.  I know the different between debt and deficits, but this Washington-speak is sickening.
  • Anther tactic used is to propose cuts to the budgets of programs like energy assisstance to low income families.  He knows full well that these programs will never be cut, but he can say he tried.

It is amazing how fast this budget was shown to be a farce, perhaps even before the ink was dry on the document.  By the way, why do we spend so much money printing these things.  Think of all of the trees that he just killed.  Put them on the Internet and mail hard copies as requested and after the printing cost is paid.  It will be interesting to see further analysis as time goes on. 

“Look at the history of how these deals get done. Typically it’s not because there’s an Obama plan out there. It’s because Democrats and Republicans are committed to tackling this in a serious way…I’m not suggesting we don’t have to do more.” [emphasis added] 

Perhaps as the leader of the country you could take charge and “do more” first.  Also, why isn’t ALL spending “discretionary” when we are so far in debt.  Everything should be on the table or rather the chopping block.

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