Another example of why President Obama lacks credibility, in particular when he said he was going to reduce spending. Do a compare and contrast of the budget the White House just released with a report released by the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO reports that we are already facing a daunting situation with things as they currently are:
Under current law, the federal fiscal outlook beyond this year is daunting: Projected deficits average about $600 billion per year over the 2011–2020 period. As a share of GDP, deficits drop markedly in the next few years but remain high—at 6.5 percent of GDP in 2011 and 4.1 percent in 2012, the first full fiscal year after certain tax provisions originally enacted in 2001, 2003, and 2009 are scheduled to expire. Thereafter, deficits are projected to range between 2.6 percent and 3.2 percent of GDP through 2020.
Those accumulating deficits will push federal debt held by the public to significantly higher levels. At the end of 2009, debt held by the public was $7.5 trillion, or 53 percent of GDP; by the end of 2020, debt is projected to climb to $15 trillion, or 67 percent of GDP. With such a large increase in debt, plus an expected increase in interest rates as the economic recovery strengthens, interest payments on the debt are poised to skyrocket. CBO projects that the government’s annual spending on net interest will more than triple between 2010 and 2020 in nominal terms, from $207 billion to $723 billion, and will more than double as a share of GDP, from 1.4 percent to 3.2 percent.
The budget released by the White House seems to make it worse:
Even with tax hikes and spending cuts, Mr. Obama’s budget foresees a record budget deficit of $1.6 trillion this fiscal year, sliding down to $706 billion in red ink by 2014, only to begin rising again as the baby-boom generation drives up the costs of Medicare and Social Security. By 2020, the federal debt will have risen from $7.5 trillion—or 53% of gross domestic product—last year to $18.6 trillion, 77% of GDP.
No one will deny that President Bush implemented big government spending, but as the Cato Institute’s Chris Edwards points out President Obama appears to be Bush on steroids:
In Bush’s last year, FY2009, the government spent $1 trillion more than the Bush-Rove team had originally planned. It is true that 2009 spending included $112 billion for the Obama stimulus bill, so let’s take that out. With that adjustment, the Bush-Rove team ended up spending $916 billion more annually by 2009 than they had originally planned. Note that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost only about one-fifth of that 2009 excess spending amount.
Then Obama comes into office and turns out to be Bush on steroids with respect to federal spending. Obama is calling for spending $3.83 trillion in 2011, or $1.1 trillion more than the federal budget nine years ago had promised. That’s a 41 percent forecasting error.
The lesson from all this is that an administration’s promised spending beyond the first year is meaningless. Obama is proposing a freeze on a very small part of the budget, for example, but his budget plan next year will likely find reasons to break that promise.
The spending needs to be reigned in. Congress and certainly this President doesn’t seem to have the courage to make the decisions necessary to do so. This whole debacle called Washington has me seeing red in more ways than one.
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