I have now read over 100 articles on the Federal budget, and what has become abundantly clear is that President Obama and his Democrat colleagues have no desire to reduce even a single expenditure. That may seem like a mundane statement, but, in fact, it accurately describes a position that borders on insanity.
You must first understand the magnitude of the problem. To do so you need to see the budget numbers for the past five years – something that for some reason don’t seem to show up in the mainstream media. These figures are in trillions of dollars:
YEAR - REVENUE - EXPENDITURES - DEFICIT
2008 - 2.66 - 2.90 - .239
2009 - 2.10 - 3.51 - 1.40
2010 - 2.38 - 3.55 - 1.17
2011 - 2.17 - 3.82 - 1.65
2012 - 2.63 - 3.72 - 1.10
Some basic things to know about these figures. 2008 was the last budget where George W. Bush was in office. Because the budget year starts in October, the transition year is 2009, when Bush proposed but Obama subsequently altered the plan. Bush’s original 2009 projection was for $2.7 trillion of revenue and $3.1 trillion in spending. Because of the bad economy in 2008 and 2009, revenues plummeted by $.6 trillion, but Obama’s reckless stimulus kicked up expenditures by $.4 trillion. This combination caused the deficit to explode, and sent us off to the races – or more properly stated, the poor house. The Feds are spending 30% more in 2011 than in 2008, without more revenue to pay for those outlays.
The 2011 budget is the one now being fought over, principally because Nancy Pelosi irresponsibly refused to hold a vote on the budget because she was afraid it would hurt her party’s election chances. Needless to say, that strategy won’t be taught in political science classes. Republicans now want to reduce spending for the remaining seven months of the budget year by a measly $.061 trillion, cuts that come from budgeted expenditures that are 7.6% higher than the prior year, when spending was already completely out of control. What should be obvious is that the $61 billion in cuts is coming from planned increased outlays, but listening to the Dems you would think that Armageddon is around the corner.
Some classic examples of proposed budget cuts and the Democratic response:
• Speaker Boehner stated that there are 200,000 more federal employees than two years ago and that this number has to be cut back. Nancy Pelosi was on the floor of the House faster than the speed of light saying that those are real people with real jobs. Somehow, she forgot to mention that they are being paid for with Monopoly money.
• Republicans declared that they wanted to eliminate the $600 million annually going to PBS and NPR. They believe that cutting government funding for television stations (when there are hundreds of channels to choose from) makes sense over cutting education or aid to the handicapped. Congressmen Ed Markey was blabbering in front of a microphone so fast, you would have thought that the end of childhood was near. You might also think he was sleeping with Miss Piggy. If you gave the Dems the option between cutting PBS and eliminating home meals for the elderly, their choice would be easy – neither.
• Republicans announced that they want to reduce funding for a charitable organization, Planned Parenthood, which should really be living off private donations because they presently provide abortions with public money – something that over 70% of Americans say should not take place. Liberals in Congress started to howl, but I for one would like to see their tax returns to find out how much they’ve given to Planned Parenthood in the past five years. But then again, we already know that answer.
Democrats don’t want to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or (surprisingly) Defense. You would think that the left would be itching to eviscerate the Defense budget, but when Republican Congressman John Campbell offered an amendment to cut Pentagon outlays by 2.5%, he was accused of doing a hatchet job. The amendment lost 68-357. Even the most leftist members of Congress will defend the base in their home district until their dying day.
They don’t want to cut the FEC, FCC (actually an increase), NHTSA, NIH, FTC, the ACC or SEC (yes the last two are college conferences.) They made the post office an “independent” agency – that comes begging for money every year. This year, it’s $11 billion! The postal service, which needs to be totally revamped, has asked to close 2,000 post offices, but Congress consistently ignores these requests. All we ever hear about is the coming calamity for “Madge” if the local post office is closed. We will continue to underwrite this outmoded enterprise, which should really be operating out of kiosks at supermarkets and Wal-Marts.
Some Republicans have suggested returning spending to 2008 levels. If you take inflation into account, that would be $600 billion less than Obama proposes for 2012. Would that be so bad? The government seemed to function quite nicely in 2008. In fact, many of us thought that even those spending levels were too extravagant.
So what is the plan for Obama and the Dems? They haven’t said it out loud, but it’s pretty clear that they want to raise revenues (taxes) until they equal expenditures. You can protest all you want, but the fact is that if you don’t want to cut expenditures, you obviously want to raise taxes or continue borrowing from foreign governments. Either way, they want a permanent expansion of government. If they didn’t, why would they be proposing such a gargantuan budget two years after their own people declared the recession to be over?
This is the only conclusion that a rational person can reach – and that’s why their budget plan borders on insanity.