Mattie Duppler

President Obama is in a difficult position ahead of his State of the Union address. This year, he can’t claim victory in the priorities laid out in his inaugural address (economic recovery, after all, is still a myth) and he can’t promise more hope when nothing, especially the stagnant economy, has changed. But the timing of the speech is perhaps what makes the President most vulnerable of all: when the President took to the podium he be marked the thousandth day since Senate Democrats have passed a budget.

It is hard to believe that a President serious about economic recovery—and his chances at reelection—can ignore his Senate allies’ incredible disregard of duty. Ask your employer if you had stopped working on April 29, 2009 if you would still be collecting a paycheck from them today. It is highly unlikely. Yet the President has spent the last thousand days scolding Republicans and ignoring his congressional jockeys’ sloth.

One thousand days is almost three years. If you cut 100 calories a day for that amount of time, you would be 20 pounds lighter. If you saved five dollars each day you’d be able to invest in a Roth IRA. You would have to walk roughly 3 miles a day for one thousand days to walk across the U.S. In one thousand days, the average American will blink 2 billion times, sleep 7,600 hours and laugh 15,000 times.

Unfortunately, this negligence is more the rule than the exception for Senate Democrats. Even last year, when they controlled both chambers of Congress and the White House, the closest Democrats came to producing a budget was cobbling together a 2,000 page omnibus spending package. It included 7,000 earmarks and would have increased spending by $100 billion (remember, this is after the State of the Union address where Obama promised to cut and freeze spending and demanded Congress enact earmark reform).

The Democrats’ resistance towards governing resulted in a funding battle that was not completed until half-way through the fiscal year. When Senate Democrats finally wrote a bill to set funding in place for the year, it received fewer votes than the Republican House-passed alternative, which would have cut spending by $60 billion—the first time spending levels would be lower than in the previous year.


Mattie Duppler

Director of Budget and Regulatory Policy at Americans for Tax Reform. She also serves as the Executive Director of ATR’s Cost of Government Center, which focuses on reducing government spending and fighting excessive regulation.