Equally troubling are the unrealistic revenue assumptions contained in Obama’s budget — forecasts which form the basis for future deficit projections. According to Obama’s numbers, total gross receipts will climb from $2.17 trillion this year to $3.58 trillion by 2015 — a 65% increase. Does anyone expect our economy to support such a dramatic expansion of federal tax receipts so soon?
Double-digit annual revenue growth has occurred just three times over the last two decades. And yet Obama is counting on this rate of growth to take place in five consecutive budget years?
No wonder one economist recently referred to his revenue estimates as “something approaching the realm of Greek myth.”
Speaking of myths, let’s return to the “tough choices and sacrifice” that Obama alluded to in proposing his $30 billion in cuts.
Perhaps he — and for that matter Boehner — is unaware of the $703 billion in “unobligated” agency surpluses that Sen. Tom Coburn and others have recommended tapping in an effort to reduce the deficit. Of these funds, $82.4 billion has been sitting in agency reserve accounts for more than six years.
Obviously neither Obama’s nor Boehner’s cuts seem so “sacrificial” in light of those surpluses.
Tough choices and sacrifice will be required, however, in addressing entitlements. Spending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will consume nearly two-thirds of the federal budget by the end of the decade — yet neither Obama nor Boehner has summoned the political courage to address these ticking time bombs.
In failing to do so, they are refusing to level with the American people about the inevitable insolvency of these programs.
America can pull itself back from the brink, but it will take a level of honesty and a commitment to cutting government not yet seen from the leaders of either political party. It will also require sending a copy of “Budgeting for Dummies” to both the White House and Capitol Hill.