Mark Hillman

Americans might have accepted the behemoth $787 billion stimulus as a one-time response to severe economic distress but not as an opening bid on future spending. After all, Obama told us, "When the American people spoke last November, they were . . . looking for a change in the way Washington does business."

Instead, Americans got a Trojan horse that indefinitely expands entitlements and explodes deficits.

Obama promises to cut budget deficits in half. But compared to what? Bush's deficits, prior to 2009, maxed out at $412 billion. Obama's benchmark is the $1.3 trillion deficit for 2009 - the one he "inherited" - which is approaching $2 trillion under his stewardship.

To Bush, 2009 was an aberration in response to a fiscal crisis; Obama sees it as an opportunity to grow government permanently. Even taking Obama's budget at face value, his smallest deficit will be $533 billion in 2013.

Obama's budget includes his own $750 billion banking bailout, a $650 billion carbon tax, a $410 billion omnibus appropriation for 2009 - loaded with 8,570 earmarks. Even Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Indiana) said this "only exacerbates the problem."

After vowing to "ban all earmarks" and to "go through the federal budget line-by-line" to cut wasteful spending, Obama is now falling into the same trap that snared President Bush.

No change here, except that Bush seems miserly.

Because I reject his principles, the best I hoped for from President Obama was honesty, responsibility, and a degree of humility. So far, he's 0-for-3.

Worse still, the pathetic tactic of whining about problems you campaigned to solve is beneath the Office of the President.

Memo to President Obama: You may never be a President I can agree with, but put on your "big boy britches" and start acting like one I can respect.

Mark Hillman

Mark Hillman is a Colorado native, a farmer, "recovering journalist" and a former Majority Leader of the Colorado Senate.