Budget battles–the same old stuff from Obama
Tomorrow night President Obama will address the nation in an “important” speech – or is it “major” speech – about how he thinks we ought to cut both the deficit and the debt.
Clue: It involves raising taxes.
Yeah, the backhanded way of saying, “our problem is one of not enough revenue instead of too much spending”. And how does the President plan on selling this? Well if his spokesman, Jay Carney is to be believed, an old bromide is the answer:
“You can’t — you can’t simply slash entitlements, lower taxes and call that a fair deal.”
“Everyone,” he said, must “share in the burden of bringing our fiscal house into order.”
You could spend all day on those two sentences alone. Yes, Mr. Carney and Mr. Obama, you can “simply slash entitlement, lower taxes and call that a fair deal”. Despite rhetoric to the contrary, our problem is growing government and out of control spending. Slash both the size of government and severely limit its ability to spend more than it takes in and you’ve taken a major step in “bringing our fiscal house into order”. That’s what’s fair.
But of course, that assumes you don’t by the implication that this problem we suffer under is one of all our making. Because if you do, then you buy into the assumption that we must all “share in the burden” of fixing it. No sale here.
First, we don’t all agree that it in order to fix what profligate and incompetent legislators have done over the years we must give them more money to waste.
No matter how many times they say it, it doesn’t make it right. They have more than enough revenue to properly fund the Constitutionally mandated government. What they don’t have enough revenue to continue carrying on is the extra-Constitutional nonsense called entitlements. That means entitlements must be “slashed” to the point that they’re self-sufficient and don’t add to either the deficit or the debt. Additionally, once those are addressed, government should be trimmed of all the bureaucratic fat it has built up over the decades. If there’s a problem with morbid obesity in this country it is found in the size of government.
Oh, and don’t forget that the guy who is going to lecture us about fiscal responsibility on Wednesday night has doubled the debt and is running a deficit this year over a trillion dollars (drinking game – knock it back every time he pawns all of that off as an “inherited” problem), not to mention adding a huge new … entitlement program.
The budget deal just negotiated take a first tentative swipe at the size of government. No, it’s not what I’d prefer, but then given what it could have ended up being, I’ll take it. Here’s a rundown of some of the cuts. Ed Morrissey has a few more:
The CR terminates funding for more than 55 programs, for a total savings of well over $1 billion. In addition, the bill terminates two programs funded in ObamaCare (the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) and the Free Choice Voucher programs).
The CO-OP, according to some critics, is nothing more than a stealth public option. But to the point – 55 programs is 55 programs. We could probably easily eliminate 5,500, but that’s not the point at the moment – a journey of a 1,000 miles begins with the first step in that direction. That’s what this should be considered and we need to encourage (and reward) this sort of thinking and action.
Another I like:
The legislation also eliminates four Administration “Czars,” including the “Health Care Czar,” the “Climate Change Czar,” the “Car Czar,” and the “Urban Affairs Czar.”
That’s why you have Department Secretaries, although I’d love to see some of the departments eliminated as well. Speaking of those Departments:
- Agriculture: $3 billion cut from FY10 level, $3.2 billion less than Obama budget request
- Commerce/Justice/Science: $10.9 billion cut from FY10 level, $7.1 billion less than Obama request
- Defense: $5 billion increase from FY10
- Energy/Water: $3.6 billion cut from FY10, $1.7 billion less than Obama request
- Financial Services: $2.4 billion cut from FY10, $3.4 billion less than Obama request
- Homeland Security: $0.784 billion cut from FY10, $1.9 billion below Obama request
- Interior: $2.62 billion cut from FY10, $2.8 billion below Obama request
- Labor/HHS/Education: $5.5 billion cut from FY10, $13 billion below Obama request
- Legislature: $0.103 billion cut from FY10
- Military Construction/Veterans Affairs: $0.6 billion increase over FY10, $3.4 billion more than Obama request
- State/Foreign Operations: $0.504 billion cut from FY10, $8.4 billion below Obama request
- Transportation/HUD: $12.3 billion cut from FY10, $13.2 billion below Obama request
Like I said a first tentative step, but definitely a step in the right direction.
Meanwhile, I just can’t wait to hear what Mr. Deficit Hawk has to say Wednesday night. In a sad sort of way, it ought to be a howler.