Even though the president only mentioned the word “jobs” three times in his second inaugural address, he nevertheless wants us to believe that the economy is his “number one priority”, according to ABC News’ Jonathan Karl. Hmm:
In contrast to his inaugural address, President Obama’s State of the Union speech will focus primarily on jobs and the economy, outlining new initiatives on manufacturing, education, clean energy and infrastructure.
He will elaborate on the big themes of the inaugural — immigration, gun violence and climate change — but a top White House official tells me the State of the Union will have a “heavy economic focus,” specifically on “the middle class as the driver of economic growth.”
To drive home the point that the president sees jobs and the economy as his number one priority, the president’s travel after the speech will be used to promote his new economic initiatives.
The new initiatives will entail new federal spending, but the spending will be off-set by reductions elsewhere in the federal budget. In terms of cost, these initiatives will be relatively modest: the days of big economic stimulus programs are over.
The president will use his speech to warn Congress to avoid automatic spending cuts — the dreaded “sequester” — scheduled to go into effect on March 1. The across-the-board cuts, the president will warn, would jeopardize the economic recovery and endanger national security.
But the president will also make what the official called “a progressive case for deficit reduction” — warning that if entitlement spending is not brought under control it will crowd out spending on other social programs that progressives hold dear.
The president has zero interest in reducing the deficit. Remember, then-candidate Obama called George W. Bush “unpatriotic” in 2008 for adding $4 Trillion to the national deficit in eight years. This was “irresponsible,” he said, and pledged -- if elected -- to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. He won that election but then promptly broke his promise by adding more than $5 Trillion to the national deficit in his first term alone.
So where are we now? Nearly $17 Trillion in debt and headed straight for a European-style debt crisis.
Meanwhile, the president and the House Minority Leader don’t believe America has a spending problem. Incredible. As I noted yesterday, wasteful government spending is one major reason why private sector job growth is so anemic. Question: How can anyone possibly hope to solve a problem if they don’t understand one of its root causes?
The president can say all he wants about growing the economy and “putting Americans back to work” on Tuesday, but actions speak louder than words. Rhetoric notwithstanding, I genuinely hope that he will forthrightly address the scarcity of jobs in America. At this point, unfortunately, it seems -- like always -- that this president has other priorities.
It’s a well-established fact that members of Congress more often than not leave Washington far richer than when they arrived. (Just look at how Harry Reid made his money, for example). But at a time of such high unemployment and trillion dollar-plus deficits, should members of Congress really be making $174,000 a year? Perhaps they should. But while this never-ending debate rages on, it’s comforting to know that at least some Congressional lawmakers (mostly Republicans, it seems) recognize the glaring disconnect between Washington’s rich and famous and the average working American. And, to their credit, they are trying to do something about it (via The Hill):
House and Senate lawmakers are seeking to slash their salaries with bills seeking cuts ranging from 10 percent to all of their pay.
The bipartisan efforts come at a time when congressional approval ratings are near record lows.
In a little more than one month since the 113th Congress convened, at least 16 bills have been introduced to downsize members’ paychecks.
The belt-tightening measures range in scope.
Some, such as Sen. David Vitter’s (R-La.) measure S. 65, would repeal the law that allows for an automatic lawmaker pay increases. There are several companion versions of the measure on the House side.
Others bills are more stringent, calling for decreases in salary as long as the federal government runs a budget deficit.
For example, GOP Reps. Morgan Griffith (Va.) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.) would require a 10 percent across the board cut for lawmakers, the vice president and the president.
“We as elected officials should show that solving America’s biggest challenge is personal to us, too. We’re past due for Congress and the White House to consider major reforms to our federal budget, but we can give those needed reforms a jumpstart by beginning with our own salaries,” Herrera Beutler said in a statement of her “Saving Starts with Us Act.”
House GOP Conference Vice-Chairwoman Lynn Jenkins (Kan.) introduced a harsher measure to decrease lawmaker’s salaries by 20 percent.
Jenkins’ “Congressional Pay Adjustment Act,” which has no co-sponsors, would “reduce the annual rates of pay for members of Congress by 20 percent, and to prohibit an adjustment in such rates during a year unless the federal government did not run a deficit in the previous fiscal year.”
To be clear: I am very much in favor of Senators and Representatives collecting paychecks. The Founders were explicit on this point: if lawmakers didn’t get paid, only “the rich” (I’m borrowing a line from the president here) would be able to serve (and stay) in high federal office. And that would have disturbing implications for a country unambiguously founded on the principle of self-government.
But in any case, how -- might you ask -- does the public at large feel about cutting Congress’ salaries? In short, they love the idea:
According to a recent poll taken by the Rasmussen polling company, 81 percent of respondents want to see even deeper lawmaker pay cuts.
The poll, taken Jan. 19-20 of 1,000 likely voters, found that a majority of respondents said lawmakers should take a 25 percent pay cut until the budget is balanced.
Of course, just like the president’s recent tax hikes, slashing congressional salaries will neither begin reducing the deficit (in any meaningful way) nor get our fiscal house in order. That said, members of Congress clearly aren’t doing their jobs (Democrats in the Senate haven’t passed a budget in almost four years) and yet are making hundreds of thousands of dollars, while so many hard working middle class Americans (who actually pay their salaries) are struggling to make ends meet.
Perhaps we should lobby Congress to cut their salaries not simply because they make too much money, but because they haven’t earned them. That seems pretty reasonable to me ... don't you think?
That’s almost the exact headline of a recent Wall Street Journal editorial that went viral last Friday and Saturday (although I must confess that I did add an exclamation point for emphasis). Anyway, for those unfamiliar with Dr. Benjamin Carson, he’s the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital and the same guy who delivered those politically incorrect remarks at the White House prayer breakfast last week. And there are two passages, at least according to the journal, that deserve your undivided attention.
Carson on taxes:
Late in his talk he dropped two very un-PC ideas. The first is an unusual case for a flat tax: "What we need to do is come up with something simple. And when I pick up my Bible, you know what I see? I see the fairest individual in the universe, God, and he's given us a system. It's called a tithe.
"We don't necessarily have to do 10% but it's the principle. He didn't say if your crops fail, don't give me any tithe or if you have a bumper crop, give me triple tithe. So there must be something inherently fair about proportionality. You make $10 billion, you put in a billion. You make $10 you put in one. Of course you've got to get rid of the loopholes. Some people say, 'Well that's not fair because it doesn't hurt the guy who made $10 billion as much as the guy who made 10.' Where does it say you've got to hurt the guy? He just put a billion dollars in the pot. We don't need to hurt him. It's that kind of thinking that has resulted in 602 banks in the Cayman Islands. That money needs to be back here building our infrastructure and creating jobs."
And Carson on health care:
"Here's my solution: When a person is born, give him a birth certificate, an electronic medical record, and a health savings account to which money can be contributed—pretax—from the time you're born 'til the time you die. If you die, you can pass it on to your family members, and there's nobody talking about death panels. We can make contributions for people who are indigent. Instead of sending all this money to some bureaucracy, let's put it in their HSAs. Now they have some control over their own health care. And very quickly they're gong [sic] to learn how to be responsible."
Dr. Carson also had a few pointed things to say about our unsustainable debt and deficits. But what really makes his speech so remarkable is that President Obama was not only in attendance … he was sitting just a few feet away! Carson didn’t care. And that, as Bubba would say, takes some brass.
For what it’s worth, here’s the last paragraph of the Journal editorial:
The Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon may not be politically correct, but he's closer to correct than we've heard in years.
Indeed. But be sure to watch the full speech below. It’s really quite funny, and Carson’s rise from poverty to become a world-class physician, best-selling author, and celebrated philanthropist is a great American success story you won't want to miss:
I know, I know, that’s a horrendous headline but bear with me for a second. Ever since leaving public life, George W. Bush has kept a relatively low profile, presumably caring for his aged father and spending time with his family. (In truth, if I remember correctly, the former president made national headlines maybe once during the last election cycle). But because a deranged hacker essentially stole his emails and released them to the public, we now know a great deal more about 43 than we should ... including his penchant for the arts.
For those interested, you should click through and check out W’s painting collection. It’s really quite impressive.
I’ll give you a hint: it’s not the president of the United States or the Republican governor of New Jersey. So that leaves … yep:
President Barack Obama defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, but today the former Senator and Secretary of State is more popular, with a 61 – 34 percent favorability rating among American voters, compared to the president’s 51 – 46 percent favorability, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.
President Obama has a split 46 – 45 percent job approval, according to the independent Quinnipiac (KWUIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll, down from 53 – 40 percent approval among registered voters in December, a month after his re-election. Today’s figure is closer to the president’s negative 45 – 49 percent job approval in July, in the middle of his reelection campaign, and similar to his job score for much of his first term.
Ms. Clinton’s favorability is higher than those measured for other national figures:
· 46 – 41 percent for Vice President Joseph Biden;
· 25 – 29 percent for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, with 45 percent who don’t know enough about him to form an opinion;
· 20 – 42 percent for House Speaker John Boehner;
· 27 – 15 percent for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, with 57 percent who don’t know enough;
· 34 – 36 percent for U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan;
· 43 – 33 percent for new Secretary of State John Kerry;
· 14 – 18 percent for Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, with 67 percent who don’t
know enough about him.
“Hillary Clinton ends her term as Secretary of State and the bruising inquiry into the Benghazi murders as easily the most popular actor on the American political stage today,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
“After an initial burst of reelection enthusiasm for President Barack Obama, we may be seeing a return to the age of the polarized electorate.”
“The difference in favorability ratings for the two leaders lies in Clinton’s ability to win thumbs up from many more independent voters and Republicans than does the president,” said Brown. “The lower approval numbers for the president could be because once the election afterglow is gone, governing inevitably requires decisions that make some voters unhappy.”
A total of 68 percent of American voters are “somewhat dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied” with the way things are going today, while 31 percent are “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied.”
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton escaped the Benghazi hearings a few weeks ago miraculously unscathed. (In fact, she received nothing but lavish praise from Congressional Democrats and fared infinitely better than Obama’s SecDef and top general when they were on the hot seat). She skillfully parlayed most Republican attack lines and “gotcha” questions with ease, even though a number of questions were not asked, let alone answered. But I can’t say I’m that surprised, though. Hillary's a skilled and cunning politician, so much so that the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination is probably hers -- if she wants it. And judging by the lavish praise the president showered on her during that final sit-down interview on CBS before she left her post, she's already off to a great start.
That being said, if Secretary Clinton does decide to run for president in 2016, her favorability rating will probably plummet. Presidential politics is a bruising and brutal business -- as Hillary darn well knows. But even when her likability numbers begin to slip (again, if she enters the race) she couldn’t be in a better position politically before taking the plunge.
So let's hope the Republicans are recruiting an equally compelling candidate in 2016. After all, eight years of Barack Obama is bad enough … but twelve years without a Republican in the White House would be even worse.
(H/T Erika Johnsen)
… and of those 62 percent, half are working part-time jobs (via The Washington Examiner):
A comprehensive new Harvard University report on Americans under 30, the so-called Millennials, shows that the economy is having a crushing impact, with just 62 percent working, and of those, half are toiling at part-time jobs.
The report, released by Harvard's Institute of Politics, paints a depressing economic portrait of young Americans, many of whom are stuck with huge college tuition bills and little chance of finding a high-paying job.
But over half, or 59 percent of those aged 18-29, have gone to college and The report reveals that time in college is a better sign of social status than income, mostly because jobs aren't available.
Contrary to common media wisdom, most younger Americans did not vote in the last election. Of the 46 million Millennials, just half voted. "Although turnout was higher than it was in 1996 and 2000, it was right back to where it has been consistently from 1976-1992," said The report compiled by the National Conference on Citizenship, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University's Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, Harvard University's Institute of Politics, and Mobilize.org.
Even so, of the 23 million young people who did vote in 2012, a supermajority cast their ballots for President Obama (via Roll Call):
Last year, of course, the president beat Mitt Romney 60 percent to 37 percent among voters 18-29 years of age, a much better showing than Obama’s 4-point win in the final popular vote (though not as good as his 66 percent showing among younger voters in 2008).
Romney, on the other hand, easily beat Obama among voters 45 and older, many of whom came of age politically during the Reagan years or whose views were formed by the Gipper’s brand of conservatism.
Romney did carry white voters in the 18-29 age group last year, but by only 51 percent to 44 percent. In contrast, he won whites 65 years and older by 61 percent to 39 percent and whites 45-64 by 61 percent to 38 percent.
On the one hand, it’s hard for me to sympathize with members of the Millennial Generation -- many of whom either didn’t vote or overwhelming chose to re-elect a candidate who spent his first term pushing “green energy” and health care legislation, while ignoring the chronically high youth unemployment rate. (Sadly, his second inaugural address pretty much confirmed that job creation is not -- and will not be -- a top legislative priority in 2013). The president, it seems, is going to spend his political capital on combating climate change and introducing more gun control measures during his second term.
On the other hand, the fact that just 62 percent of young people have a full or part-time job is deeply disconcerting. And the implications are startling: nearly 40 percent of Millennials are unemployed and presumably living at home with their parents.
Lawmakers and business leaders need to be doing everything they can to find a way to solve this economic and moral crisis. And the president should be leading the way.
After all, isn’t that why Americans re-elected him?
Remember when President Obama was justifiably criticized for saying that the private sector was “doing fine” last summer when tens of millions of Americans were struggling to find work and the national unemployment rate languished above 8 percent? This was a stunning admission. And Republicans, for their part, did something right for a change by taking advantage of the president’s blunder. However, according to AEI’s Aparna Mathur and data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the only workers who seem to be “doing fine” nowadays -- that is, enjoying a relative high level of employment and job security -- are those whom work in government (via Jim Pethokoukis):
Public sector workers, particularly those involved in education, have an important role to play in the economy. In most states, they account for about 14 percent of all jobs. But real economic growth has to start in the other 86 percent of the economy, where most workers earn their living. Indeed, private sector employment is important if even for the simple fact that state and local tax revenues fund public sector salaries.
As of January, the unemployment rate for those classified as government workers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is only 4.2 percent, compared to 8.6 percent unemployment in the private sector. Clearly, if we care about economic recovery, we should focus our efforts at combating the specter of private sector unemployment. In a study of data from 1939 to 2008 the economist Valerie Ramey concluded that an increase in government spending typically causes private spending to fall significantly.
That should mean that the current recession-driven cuts in public expenditures may be exactly the stimulus needed to get the private sector on the road to recovery.
Stunning. Mathur notes, of course, that while government workers play an integral role in our society, it is the private sector that ultimately spurs economic growth and creates the vast majority of U.S. jobs. The government’s role, then, should be both limited and hands-off, allowing small businesses and job creators the freedom to take risks and expand. How? Well, for starters, by not wasting vast sums of borrowed money “stimulating” the economy. That same tired policy failed the last time it was implemented. Meanwhile, the president reportedly doesn’t even acknowledge that we have a spending problem, and yet according to one distinguished economist (see above), Washington’s unprecedented addiction to spending is precisely why the private sector unemployment rate remains so high.
Perhaps we should try a different approach, then -- one that, say, cuts rather than increases government spending and thus incentivizes business communities to do what they do best: invest in the economy and create jobs. Just a thought.
I must confess in 2012 -- almost from the beginning -- I felt inclined to vote for Mitt Romney for president of the United States. His intellect, extraordinary business record, and honorable career in public service convinced me that he was uniquely qualified to serve faithfully in that office. But there was something else: As a moderate hailing from a deeply blue state, I thought he could appeal to centrist Republicans and right-leaning Independents nationwide -- perhaps enough of them to give him a decided edge on Election Day.
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
And yet to say that Governor Romney didn’t work hard, campaign vigorously, and run a serious campaign would be untrue. He certainly did. And, if he had been elected, I still think he would have been a superb chief executive. But his devastating and somewhat unexpected loss has forced me to fundamentally reconsider and re-examine what kind of candidate to support in future presidential election cycles. And so, after months of soul-searching, here are three essential qualities I believe the next Republican presidential nominee must possess:
Consistency: One devastating mistake Republicans made during the last election cycle was their refusal -- and unwillingness -- to adequately expose the failures of the president’s health care law. Obamacare is consistently unpopular for many different reasons, of course, but especially because it kills jobs, lowers take-home pay, drives up health care costs, and forces religious believers to violate the core tenets of their faith. But because Mitt Romney had signed a similar (albeit popular) proposal into law in Massachusetts, he was unable to convincingly argue why such an egregious piece of legislation needed to be repealed. This should have been a top GOP priority from the beginning -- and especially after the infamous legislation was ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States. Bottom line: The GOP should not nominate candidates with significant flaws or failures in their public service records.
Charisma: For all of Mitt’s Romney’s strengths, he was simply unable to relate to the middle and working classes. He was a wealthy and successful businessman (something that should have been an asset, by the way) but instead the left’s unfair misrepresentations and ruthless campaign tactics significantly undermined his chances of winning. His wooden personality and awkward jokes didn’t help, either. In short, Republicans must nominate a dynamic, articulate conservative in 2016 who can speak authentically to voters’ dreams and aspirations -- in other words, a candidate who drives voters to the polls because they support and trust the nominee, not because they oppose the Democratic candidate. This is absolutely essential, and something that was evidently lacking during the last election cycle. Bottom line: Republicans can’t possibly hope to win the presidency in 2016 if the conservative base stays home (as they did in 2012).
Conviction: We need principled candidates rather than so-called “mavericks.” We need leaders who say what they mean and mean what they say; leaders who oppose on principle excessive government spending, high taxes and burdensome regulations -- and have a record to show for it. As many have said before, we already have a Democratic Party in this country. And we certainly don’t need another one. Bottom line: Giving voters a choice -- a real choice -- between the two presidential nominees is the key to taking back the White House in 2016.
In any case, it has often been said that Ronald Reagan is the beau ideal of modern Republican presidential candidates. And perhaps one reason is because he embodied all three of the qualities I’ve just outlined. Indeed, if anything, our collective and continued support for flawed, squishy flip-flopping Republican presidential candidates is a recipe for disaster. I finally see that now.
Let us hope that others will as well.
Michelle Rhee is a lifelong Democrat and education reformer who has recently come out in support of school vouchers. Writing in the Daily Beast a few days ago, she explained the prevailing reason for her change of heart: Her countless (and at times) heartbreaking interactions with devastated parents coping with the realization that their child would be stuck in a failing school -- forever. And the feeling that there was nothing she could do for them:
After my listening tour of families, and hearing so many parents plead for an immediate solution to their desire for a quality education, I came out in favor of the voucher program. People went nuts. Democrats chastised me for going against the party, but the most vocal detractors were my biggest supporters.
“Michelle, what are you doing?” one education reformer asked. “You are the first opportunity this city has had to fix the system. We believe in you and what you’re trying to do. But you have to give yourself a fighting chance! You need time and money to make your plan work. If during that time children continue fleeing the system on these vouchers, you’ll have less money to implement your reforms. You can’t do this to yourself!”
“Here’s the problem with your thinking,” I’d answer. “My job is not to preserve and defend a system that has been doing wrong by children and families. My job is to make sure that every child in this city attends an excellent school. I don’t care if it’s a charter school, a private school, or a traditional district school. As long as it’s serving kids well, I’m happy. And you should be, too.”
Here’s the question we Democrats need to ask ourselves: Are we beholden to the public school system at any cost, or are we beholden to the public school child at any cost? My loyalty and my duty will always be to the children.
Perhaps the most moving excerpt from her editorial is when she points out the flawed reasoning of a close -- presumably fellow Democratic -- friend:
I was having a heated discussion one day with one of my closest friends, a public school teacher. She was deriding voucher policy. My public policy wonkiness was not serving me well, so I decided to change tactics.
“Of course,” she answered. “One of my best friends was featured in the movie.” She chuckled.
“Do you remember that scene with Bianca?” I asked.
Waiting for “Superman” director Davis Guggenheim did a brilliant job of distilling pretty complicated education policies into easy and understandable terms. But more important, he humanized the problems by following five families in their quest to find a high-quality public school for their children to attend.
One of the most poignant stories was about a little girl named Bianca. Her mother had had a negative experience in the public schools herself. So she was committed to giving her child a better chance. When Bianca was in kindergarten her mother enrolled her in the Catholic school across the street from their apartment, and she worked extra jobs to be able to pay the tuition.
Unfortunately, with the economic downturn, her hours were cut back, and she fell behind on her tuition payments. There is an emotional scene in the movie when Bianca is gazing longingly out the window. It is the day of her kindergarten graduation. She’s watching all of her friends and their families file in for the graduation ceremony, but she’s not allowed to attend. Tears are streaming down her face.
“Remember,” I pleaded, “her mom owed the school money so they didn’t let her go to her kindergarten graduation? How did that make you feel?”
“Ugh, that was awful,” my friend said. “It was totally wrong of the school. It was absolutely heart-wrenching! I mean seriously, I wanted to write the five-hundred-dollar check myself!”
“Right,” I said, “that would be a voucher.”
What’s more, she continued, the reasoning behind opposing school vouchers is completely illogical and doesn’t stand up to scrutiny:
Most people in this country do not favor vouchers in education, because they don’t want public dollars going to private institutions or businesses. But the logic holds absolutely no water.
We have federal Pell grants that low-income students use all the time to attend private colleges. Pell grants aren’t limited to use at public universities. We have food stamps that low-income families redeem at nongovernment grocery stores. And let’s not forget about Medicare and Medicaid.
Think about it this way. Say your elderly mother had to be hospitalized for life-threatening cancer. The best doctor in the region is at Sacred Heart, a Catholic, private hospital. Could you ever imagine saying this? “Well, I don’t think our taxpayer dollars should subsidize this private institution that has religious roots, so we’re going to take her to County General, where she’ll get inferior care. ’Cause that’s just the right thing to do!”
No. You’d want to make sure that your tax dollars got your mom the best care. Period. Our approach should be no different for our children. Their lives are at stake when we’re talking about the quality of education they are receiving. The quality of care standard should certainly be no lower.
I agree. Children simply can’t wait five, fifty, or 100 years for inner-city public schools to “fix” themselves. Children need access to a high quality education now -- that is, from the moment they enter the classroom. And any policy that makes this possible should at least be universally considered, right?
The teachers unions -- for many of the reasons Rhee gives at the beginning of her must read article -- overwhelming oppose any sort of voucher program. It takes money away from schools that need it most, they argue, and the program can’t help everyone. Okay. But wasn’t it the president who said -- in an admittedly different context -- that if we can do anything to save one child, “then surely we have an obligation to try”? Rhee’s testimony is compelling evidence that such initiatives help children, and have given hundreds (if not thousands) of low-income students an opportunity to succeed.
The teachers unions always claim that they’re “for the kids,” but how can you be “for the kids” if you demonize a program that opens doorways of opportunity to students that would otherwise be closed to them? In other words, the question isn’t necessarily why should you support school vouchers -- it’s why shouldn’t you? I’ve yet to hear an anti-voucher advocate articulate a rational response to this question, at least one that takes into account this simple fact: A low-income family given a school voucher is better off than the countless students left -- year after year -- helpless and alone and trapped in failing schools.
The special interests need to reconcile and re-think their opposition to this important program. It’s about time they did.
Okay, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) didn’t actually say that. But fans of America’s favorite pastime will appreciate his remarks during a recent press conference comparing President Obama’s mind-boggling budget breakdown to the failures of a struggling MLB batter who’s, er, “earned” a one way ticket back to the minors:
[T]he Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 requires that the president submit a budget on the first Monday in February. He’s had five opportunities to do it, and he’s missed the deadline four of the five times. If any of you are baseball fans that’s batting a 200 average. If you’re a big baseball fan, you know now he’s at the Mendoza line. The Mendoza line is about Mario Mendoza. It’s the line that you talk for a major league baseball player if they become incompetent. I think the American public expect more, and expect accountability.
I’ll give McCarthy some points here for style. But again, on a more serious note, the federal law is really quite simple: The president of the United States must submit a budget every single year … on a very specific day:
By law, the president is required to submit a budget request to Congress for the upcoming fiscal year by the first Monday of February. The only time Obama met the deadline during his presidency was in 2011.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, delivered remarks on the House floor this afternoon, declaring that by ignoring the deadline imposed by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, Obama “missed a great opportunity” to help the U.S. economy.
Monday marked the fourth time the president failed to meet this important legal obligation -- in five years. Of course, there’s no real consequences for failing to do so, but it is an indication that the president -- along with his Democratic colleagues -- are not really serious about reining in federal spending or reforming entitlements. A budget is coming eventually, we’re told, but when exactly remains a mystery. Meanwhile, the GOP-led House of Representatives -- unlike, say, the Democrat-controlled Senate -- has actually passed a budget for two years running. Question: Is it really too much to ask for our elected representatives to follow the law and do their jobs? I mean, Barack Obama reportedly has time to go skeet shooting “all the time,” but he can’t submit a budget the day it’s due four out of the five years he’s been president? Give me a break.