1,000 Days Sans Budget
April 29, 2009: On this day, President Obama apologized for a plane ride photo-op that flew too low over New York Harbor and scared residents by invoking memories of September 11th; former Sen. Arlen Specter nailed his re-election coffin shut by opportunistically switching from the Republican party to the Democratic party; the first reported American swine flu death occurred in Texas; Jack Lohrke, a former NY Giants and Philadelphia Phillies player died; and actor Daniel Day-Lewis turned 52.
Oh yeah! It was also the last time that the United States Senate actually fulfilled its most basic and fundamental responsibility by passing a budget.
Since then, the federal government has been spending taxpayer money without any sort of plan on how to spend it effectively – to the tune of $9.4 trillion in just those 3 years, $4.1 trillion of which was new debt. The Senate has also rejected a bold budget outline for the future of our country, offered by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). No Democrats voted for that proposal, and absolutely no one in the Senate (from either party) voted for President Obama’s FY2012 budget boondoggle.
President Obama’s proposal, according to the CBO, would have continued federal budget deficits in excess of $748 billion for the next decade. Remember, the highest federal deficit under President Bush was just over $400 billion. That budget was supposed to be President Obama’s vision for the country. Apparently, it was a vision of borrowing dependence. And while he gave a nice speech last April about a budget do-over, that proposal never surfaced.
Flash forward to today: our national debt is over $15.2 trillion, the interest payments on that debt are over $200 billion per year, and if we continue on this path, then by the year 2050, our debt will be at 344% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and entitlement spending will more than double.
So what is the President planning to do about all this? As is his typical fashion, he will give another nice speech, only this time; it’s going to get nasty. That’s because previews of the speech refer to a return to “American Values,” which, in the President’s mind, means equality of outcome and not equality of opportunity. America was not founded on the idea that everyone would receive the same outcome regardless of how hard they worked – as liberals currently seem to believe. It was founded on a belief that if you work hard, you’ll be rewarded.
Sadly, these days, those who work the hardest are vilified.
But back to the President’s campaign spee—uh, State of the Union address. Our country is going bankrupt, yet among the big issues that Americans actually care about (like jobs, the economy and energy costs) the President will also focus on this income inequality.
He will also claim that we have a “do-nothing Congress,” with the insinuation being that Republicans in the House of Representatives are sitting on their thumbs while our economy continues to toil. In reality, the GOP-led House has passed dozens of bills dealing with the economy through private sector, pro-growth strategies. Strategies like reducing government spending and waste, opening up domestic oil production and tackling the myriad of special interest favors in the U.S. tax code. All of which are sitting in the Senate, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) refuses to bring them up for a vote. Meanwhile, he and his fellow Democrats in the Senate think it would be “foolish” to offer a budget – or even pass one apparently.
So tonight, as you watch President Obama’s State of the Union campaign speech, listening as he doubles down on more spending, bigger government and a continuation of the failed “green” jobs agenda, remember this: while he may promise big, past SOTUs have shown that his talk is cheap.
In both 2010 and 2011, President Obama promised to overhaul immigration and education laws. Has that happened? He also promised in both years to reform the tax code. But as we’ve learned over the years, the liberal version of reforming the tax code is making it even more convoluted by adding more tax breaks and subsidies for favored industries and removing them from other industries. Conservatives, on the other hand, want to simplify the tax code by removing such deductions from all industries to level the playing field.
Tonight, President Obama will lay out his vision for the country. On February 13th, we’ll be able to see how he plans to achieve that vision. That is the day that the President will release his FY2013 budget. This is, of course, a week later than the law states he must, but we know the law doesn’t matter to this President (see: Richard Cordray and NLRB “recess” appointments). House Republicans will offer their own budget around the same time as last year, which should build on the budget passed last year that was written by Congressman Ryan.
The good thing about this State of the Union will be the fact that it will be an opportunity for conservatives to declare a stark contrast to President Obama and his liberal vision of America.