“Classic Obama debt reduction: Add $2 trillion in new taxes, then add another $1 trillion in new spending and, presto, you’ve got $1 trillion of debt reduction.
And what of those “painful cuts” Obama is making to programs he really cares about? The catch is that these “cuts” are from a hugely inflated new base line created by the orgy of spending in Obama’s first two years. These were supposedly catastrophe-averting, anti-Depression emergency measures. But post-recession they remain in place. As a result, discretionary non-defense budget levels today are 24 percent higher than before Obama — 84 percent higher if you add in the stimulus money.
Which is why the supposedly painful cuts yield spending still at stratospheric levels. After all the cuts, Department of Education funding for 2012 remains 35 percent higher than in the last pre-emergency pre-Obama year, 2008. Environmental Protection Agency: 18 percent higher. Department of Energy: 22 percent higher. Consider even the biggest “painful cut” headline of all, the 50 percent cut in fuel subsidies for the poor. Barbaric, is it not? Except for the fact that the subsidies had been doubled from 2008 levels. The draconian cut is nothing but a return to normal pre-recession levels.
Yet all this is penny-ante stuff. The real money is in entitlements. And the real scandal of this budget is that Obama doesn’t touch them. Not Social Security. Not Medicaid. Not Medicare.” Read more.
“Obama’s Louis XV budget full of gimmicks”
The Chicago Tribune, February 21, 2011.
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