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Budget Fiction and Failings

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Barack Obama delivered his new budget proposal to Congress this morning. The document increases yet again the estimate for deficit spending for the current FY 2012 year - $1.33 trillion.   If even close to accurate, when this fiscal year ends, Obama will  have presided over four consecutive annual deficits in excess of $1 trillion – each one nearly three times larger than any previous annual deficit in U.S. history – and a total of additional debt for the nation of $5.334 trillion during his first term.    

By election time this fall, Obama will have nearly completed his first term.  The annual deficits on his watch will be as follows:

FY 2009 - $1.412 trillion

FY 2010 - $1.293 trillion

FY 2011 - $1.299 trillion

FY 2012 - $1.33   trillion (OMB estimate)

It seems meaningless to mention that he promised a much different scenario.

It took the first 42 Presidents 212 years for America to amass as much total debt as Obama will pile on future generations in just four years.   According to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) the total debt held by the public will more than double during Obama’s four years in office – exploding from $5.8 trillion at the end of FY 2008 to nearly $12 trillion by the end of FY 2012 on September 30 of this year. 

Yes, Obama inherited an economy in free fall, and he does not deserve blame for all of the deficit spending already in motion when he was sworn into office, although it is only fair to mention that Democrats were in control of both the House and Senate in 2007 and 2008.  Other President’s came to office amid great challenges, too, and Obama was the one who promised he knew how to turn things around.  He’s the one who said he’d cut in half the deficit he inherited by the end of his first term. 

For the candidate who promised hope-and-change it seems fair to ask, “What have you changed in your first four years, Mr. Obama?”  Not much that is good, and certainly not what you promised. 

The law requires the President to submit annual budgets to Congress including ten year projections. Simply comparing his own previous budget projections for FY 2012 to this newest version of White House fiction exposes what is either gross fiscal incompetence or a strong propensity to be less than honest.    Following are the deficit projections for FY 2012 from Obama’s first four budgets:

FY 2010 Budget                      Estimated FY 2012 deficit:      $.557 trillion

FY 2011 Budget                      Estimated FY 2012 deficit:      $.828 trillion

FY 2012 Budget                      Estimated FY 2012 deficit:      $1.101 trillion

FY 2013 Budget                      Estimated FY 2013 deficit:      $1.33   trillion

In the real world outside Washington’s beltway, any CEO of a major company that missed the mark so badly and always to the financial detriment of the organization would be sent packing.  In fact, Obama fired the CEO at General Motors for that very reason.  The same standard needs to apply to this President, and November can’t come soon enough to do just that.  

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