Meanwhile, in spite of the administration’s claims that it has “saved or created” jobs, the fact is that it has mostly wasted borrowed money. To cite just one example, a program in Texas spent $3.7 million in federal funds last year to weatherize just 47 homes. That’s $78,000 per home -- an awful lot of caulking.
The administration should also begin reforming Social Security and Medicare to make them sustainable for the long term. Eugene Steuerle of the Urban Institute recently found that every cent in federal tax revenue last year was used to pay for entitlement programs. That’s a historic first, but it’s a sign of things to come. And this year, the Congressional Budget Office found that Social Security will bring in less in taxes than it spends on benefits.
A bipartisan commission would be a good start, but only if it is able to consider spending cuts, not simply tax increases. The president could also adopt Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan, “A Roadmap for America’s Future 2.0.” The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has certified that it could solve our nation’s long-term fiscal problems.
It’s time for the president’s actions to match his words. A budget crisis is upon us -- and spending our way out of it isn’t an option.