Learning nothing from his party's November "shellacking," President Barack Obama offers a 2012 budget that proves, yet again, he believes in government as fervently as President Ronald Reagan believed in the individual.
Obama ignores the recommendations of his own bipartisan deficit-reduction commission, as well as polls showing voters want smaller government, and smugly proposes more spending, higher taxes and even bigger government. Obama then holds a press conference and, with a straight face that would have shamed Baghdad Bob, claims his budget "will not be adding more to the national debt."
The Obama-loving leftist media won't be critical. After all, MSNBC just aired a special called "President of the World: The Bill Clinton Phenomenon."
Obama's '12 budget -- and its 10-year projection -- adds nearly $9 trillion in new spending over the next decade. It nearly doubles our national debt from the current $13.5 trillion to more than $26 trillion by 2021. It imposes nearly $2 trillion in additional taxes. It leaves untouched the three major entitlements -- Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid -- that account for nearly half the budget. After 10 years, it leaves an annual budget deficit of some $700 billion, or nearly 50 percent more than President George W. Bush's 2008 budget -- and even that assumes rosy scenarios on GDP growth and tax revenues. Only in the area of non-defense discretionary spending did Obama propose the most inconsequential of cuts.
Erskine Bowles, the Democrat deficit commission co-chair and former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, said the budget is "nowhere near where they will have go to resolve our fiscal nightmare."
Predictably, an Associated Press piece on the budget led with this sentence: "Putting on the brakes after two years of big spending increases, President Barack Obama unveiled a $3.7 trillion budget plan Monday that would freeze or reduce some safety-net programs ... ."
In Obama's first two years in office, he increased federal spending by nearly 30 percent over fiscal year 2008 and added $3.5 trillion in new debt. He sold that spending as one-offs, emergency measures like TARP-expansion and "stimulus" designed to "rescue" the economy from a depression. Obama's 2012 proposed budget stays at that high level -- with new spending ("investments") and higher taxes taking the place of the alleged one-time-only "emergency" spending.