The worst kept secret in Washington nowadays is just how badly broken the budget process has become, and how spineless politicians are at controlling spending. Still, while politicians have been paying lip service to fiscal responsibility for some time now, the president’s new proposed budget blueprint, once again, demonstrates little regard to our fiscal realities.
From the Rose Garden lawn, President Obama said his plan would achieve nearly $2 trillion in additional deficit reductions over the next 10 years, and bring the total deficit reduction to $4.3 trillion in a “balanced and responsible way in a way that most Americans prefer.”
The plan actually proposes to reduce the deficit by only $600 billion, and only after imposing even more tax hikes on hard working Americans and replacing $1.2 trillion of the $1.8 trillion in sequester cuts already in place.
Government, in fact, needs to stop the fiscal and monetary tinkering in order for the much-awaited recovery to finally appear, and flood the land in a tidal wave of opportunities and prosperity.
- Daniel Garza
So much for “no smoke and mirrors,” as the President concluded in his remarks.
One laudable area that is addressed in the budget, albeit mildly, is that Medicare and Social Security are lurching ever closer to the fiscal precipice and require immediate attention. Still, the mostly symbolic remedies are but Band-Aid fixes that do little to mend the unsustainability of both programs, deliberately allowing the administration to avoid a confrontation with the liberal wing of its party, and yet again, leaving the task of advancing true reform to someone else.
In the end, the disappointing proposal from the administration does very little to avoid crippling levels of deficits, offers no net cuts to runaway levels of spending, adds $8 billion dollars in new debt, and never balances the budget.
The plan also calls for new “investments” in green energy projects, “manufacturing innovation institutes”, and other wasteful projects that directly compete with investors in the private sector. And true to form, the administration goes directly after America’s job creators with its already customary and unrelenting ferocity so that it can continue to spend hard‐earned dollars on more and more dependency inducing schemes for more and more able-bodied people.
Let me be quick to add — lest I be called a monster, as is customarily done by the progressive class at any whiff of calls for reductions to the 82 means-tested welfare programs costing taxpayers over a trillion dollars a year — that certainly our children, some seniors and disabled Americans require assistance, and as a compassionate society we are duty- bound to help our fellow Americans who have fallen on hard times.
But when it comes to able-bodied Americans, priority number one for government should be creating a society in which anyone with nothing has the same opportunities to achieve anything.
We must make America “a magnet for new jobs,” said the president; but his theory of higher taxes and more regulation will not attract new business. Washington must safeguard America’s free enterprise system, strike a blow to cronyism, reward success, and ensure that rules do not place the small risk-taker, the innovator, and the middle-class at a disadvantage. Government, in fact, needs to stop the fiscal and monetary tinkering in order for the much-awaited recovery to finally appear, and flood the land in a tidal wave of opportunities and prosperity.
I’m talking about a real and sustained recovery, one of increased jobs and a rising gross domestic product index, that will come from expansion in the private sector brought about by increases in investments by risk-takers, hikes in energy production, and small businesses who have been empowered by a government that has finally recognized it needs to back off — way off.
This budget is no compromise as many in the media are reporting, but in fact, just another tax-and-spend bill that we have come to expect from Washington. If as the president said, “we need to get smarter about our priorities as a nation,” then as a nation, we should hold him to his word and reprove his budget.
Daniel Garza is the Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative and former White House staffer from 2001-2006.