Budgetary Foolishness

The Associated Press, hardly a mouthpiece for the Republican Party, had this to say about the new budget proposal President Obama showcased this week:

Taking a pass on reining in government growth, President Barack Obama unveiled a record $3.8 trillion election-year budget plan … calling for stimulus-style spending on roads and schools and tax hikes on the wealthy to help pay the costs. … Obama would leave the spiraling growth of health care programs for the elderly and the poor largely unchecked. The plan claims $4 trillion in deficit savings over the coming decade, but most of if would be through tax increases Republicans oppose, lower war costs already in motion, and budget cuts enacted last year in a debt pact with GOP lawmakers.

The only real cuts would be in defense, which is only the first obligation of any government—to protect its citizens.

One of the reporters at the White House press conference on the budget put it this way to presidential spokesman Jay Carney in trying to make the point about the foolishness of the president’s plan:

It would be along the lines of a family that makes $29,000 a year spending $38,000 a year, so taking on new debt—$9,000 in new debt with a $153,000 credit card bill that they were not able to pay down.

Carney’s response was to—get ready for this unique explanation—blame Bush.

What the Obama budget really means is that by 2022, one decade from now, we will no longer be $15 trillion in debt, but $25 trillion. Yet he touts what he calls the economic recovery, and warns that to stop government spending will thwart the recovery. That’s just warmed-over, totally discredited Keynesian theory that says government spending is the way to prosperity. Absurd. But of course the president wants to paint the rosiest picture possible.

His perceptions are way off:

Congratulations, Mr. President, for not allowing the stress to get to you. Unfortunately, it’s getting to the rest of us.