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Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Obama Finally Unveils His Budget - More Spending and More Taxes

Today in Washington, D.C. - April 10, 2013:  Two months late, President Obama finally unveiled his budget proposal today, but, unfortunately, his budget is just a collection of the same tax and spend policies he’s been pushing for years.   It included almost a $1 Trillion in spending increases and $1.1 Trillion in tax increases. It proposes "$3.77 trillion in government spending for 2014, and the deficit for the year is projected to come in at $744 billion." More Spending - More Taxes! More comments after the Senate and House actions today.

Also, today the Treasury Department released the Monthly Treasury Statement for March. The report shows the U.S. ran a deficit of $106.5 billion last month. News like last month’s deficit and the most recent jobs numbers make it clear the president’s vision for the country is out of step with what the economy needs and of course so is his proposed budget.

The Obama Administration has made it clear that it isn’t concerned about running deficits. This past weekend, top White House aide Dan Pfeiffer said, “there's a false choice between deficits as far as the eye can see and job creation and economic growth now. You can do both. That is what the president's budget does.”

But many government and academic studies paint a much different picture. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) warns that “federal debt held by the public is projected to remain historically high relative to the size of the economy for the next decade.” The CBO warns, “such high and rising debt would have serious negative consequences” like lower wages and greater risk of a fiscal crisis.”

And, many economists agree that our current debt is impacting economic growth. A study by Carmen Reinhart of the University of Maryland and Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard University found, that across wealthy and poor countries, the growth rate for a country with debt over 90% of it’s economy is 1% lower than if the country had lower debt levels.

The United States’ debt relative to the size of our economy exceeds 100%. How high does it have to go before Washington takes action?

Today, the Senate resumed consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 649, Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) gun control bill. Reid filed cloture on the motion to proceed to the bill last night, setting up a cloture vote (to cut off debate on the motion to proceed and consider the bill) on Thursday. This afternoon, the Senate quickly approved (87-11) Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) chief executive Sally Jewell as the next Interior secretary.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 64-34 to confirm Patty Schwartz to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit.

Today the House addressed and the passed (416-7) H.R. 678 — "To authorize all Bureau of Reclamation conduit facilities for hydropower development under Federal Reclamation law, and for other purposes." They first considered three amendments passing two and rejected one amendment to the bill.

Yesterday the House passed:
H.R. 254 (400-4) — "To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to facilitate the development of hydroelectric power on the Diamond Fork System of the Central Utah Project."
H.R. 1033 (283-122) — "To authorize the acquisition and protection of nationally significant battlefields and associated sites of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 under the American Battlefield Protection Program."

With regard to the President Obama budget submission,USA Today notes that it’s “a fiscal plan that even before it's officially released is eliciting groans from his conservative opponents as well as his backers on the left.” And of course it calls “for billions of dollars in new spending to repair the country's infrastructure and bolster education, according to a White House overview of the document.” “Overall,” USA Today writes, “the budget details $3.77 trillion in government spending for 2014, and the deficit for the year is projected to come in at $744 billion, or 4.4% of GDP. Even before the budget's official release, GOP lawmakers have framed it as a small bore effort when it comes to deficit cutting, because it assumes the elimination of the $1.2 trillion in automatic budget cuts, known as sequester, that were triggered earlier this year. The Obama budget also relies, in part, on raising taxes -- a red line Republicans say they will not cross.”

The Hill adds, “The $1.058 trillion budget for fiscal year 2014 — which will arrive on Capitol Hill about two months late — would turn off the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester and raise $580 billion in new tax revenue over ten years by limiting tax deductions for upper-income households. The budget increases spending in 2014 when compared to spending under the sequester. Leaving the sequester in place would lead to $966 billion in discretionary spending in 2014. Total spending in fiscal year 2014 including on entitlements would be $3.77 trillion. For the first time, Obama’s budget counts revenue from a ‘Buffett Rule’ requiring that households with annual income over $1 million pay at least a 30 percent tax rate after charitable deductions. . . . Unlike the House Republican budget, Obama’s budget would not balance, though it would reduce the deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product to 1.7 percent by 2023.”

CBS News’ Major Garrett points out, “Republicans already accuse the White House of creative accounting in describing future deficit reduction. Senior officials said the budget would include $1.8 trillion in net deficit reduction over ten years, with roughly $600 billion coming from higher taxes and the rest from spending cuts. Republicans counter that $1.2 trillion in spending cuts are already federal law under sequestration so all Mr. Obama is really proposing is $600 billion in new taxes. ‘We're not sure this is a serious exercise,’ said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.”

Leader McConnell spoke on the Senate floor this morning about his frustration with President Obama’s budget proposal: “Like nearly every one of his budgets so far, it’s late. Really late. In the extra two months he’s kept the country on hold, both the House and Senate have actually already passed their own budgets. So it’s hard to see what the White House plans to accomplish here. . . . [H]is budget simply does not represent some grand pivot from left to center. It’s really just a pivot from left to left. I mean, if these reports we’re seeing are correct, it’s mostly the same old thing we’ve seen year after year. And that’s really too bad, because it’s not like we don’t know the kinds of things that need to be done to get our budget back to balance and Americans back to work.”

He further explained, “Now, the White House initially made some fantastic claims about the amount of deficit reduction supposedly contained in its budget. But when you cut through the spin and get to the facts, it looks like there’s less than $600 billion worth of reduction in there – and that’s over a decade – all of it coming from tax increases. In other words, it’s not a serious plan. For the most part, just another left-wing wish list.”

Senator Jeff Sessions, ranking member of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee has provided some detailed comments which we will share in a separate article. In summary, "It Grows the Government, Not the Economy" and "President Obama’s budget takes more from hardworking families to spend more in Washington, D.C. Instead of empowering people with more control over their lives, the President’s plan empowers bureaucracy. Instead of creating good-paying American jobs, the President’s plan destroys jobs, depresses wages, and diminishes opportunity."

House Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise (R-LA) responded to the President Obama overdue FY 2014 budget" “While President Obama was on time with his Final Four picks, his budget is a bracket buster for American families that is 65 days late, calls for more job-killing taxes and regulations, and never even balances,” Scalise said. “President Obama’s budget represents a complete failure of leadership. Washington must stop spending money it doesn’t have and finally start living within its means. The federal government doesn’t have a revenue problem; it has a spending problem. President Obama got more than $600 billion in new tax hikes just a few months ago, not to mention more than $1 trillion in new taxes in Obamacare, and now he’s back again for more while refusing to make any attempts to balance a budget or control the growth of federal spending that is jeopardizing the future of our country. It’s time for the President to abandon his failed tax and spend agenda and finally get to work growing the economy and balancing the budget.”

Generation Opportunity President Evan Feinberg, representing the Millennials (ages 18-29) said in a statement: “The country is nearly $17 trillion in debt and we’re on the hook for close to $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities over the next 75 years. No offense to our geriatric elected representatives in Washington, but they’re not going to be around when the chickens come home to roost. They’re running up a tab that my generation is ultimately going to be responsible for. Today, President Obama delivered his annual budget recommendations, only 65 days later than he is required to by law. Instead of proposing any meaningful spending cuts or agency consolidations, this budget includes a 6% increase in government spending under the guise of ‘investments.’ Why is it that every time politicians of either party ‘invest’ our money, we never seem to get it back?”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) at a press conference with Republican leaders discussed President Obama’s budget, “House Republicans passed a balanced budget that will help foster a healthier economy and to help create jobs. Unfortunately, the president’s budget never comes to balance. Every family has to balance its budget, Washington should as well.

The American people know you can’t continue to spend money that you don’t have. The federal government has spent more than what it has brought in in 55 of the last 60 years. Now think about this, you can’t continue to go on like this. That’s why we came forward with a plan that will balance the budget over the next 10 years. We believe strongly that it is time for Washington to deal with its spending problem.

“And while the president has backtracked on some of his entitlement reforms that were in conversations that we had a year and a half ago, he does deserve some credit for some incremental entitlement reforms that he has outlined in his budget. But I would hope that he would not hold hostage these modest reforms for his demand for bigger tax hikes. Listen, why don’t we do what we can agree to do? Why don’t we find the common ground that we do have and move on that?

The president got his tax hikes in January, we don’t need to be raising taxes on the American people. So I’m hopeful in the coming weeks we’ll have an opportunity, through the budget process, to come to some agreement.”

Tags: President Obama, presidential budget, FY2014, more spending, more taxes, Confirmation, Sally Jewell, Interior Secretary To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 5:45 PM - Post Link

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