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Obama's Proposed Budget: A Pie in the Sky Fantasy

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

WASHINGTON -- Two things you need to know about President Obama's nearly $4 trillion budget for fiscal year 2013: It will likely add another $1 trillion to a $15.3 trillion debt, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he will not act on any full budget plan this year.

The first item tells us that Obama's recklessly irresponsible tax, spend and borrow policies will continue to push the U.S. dangerously closer to the brink of fiscal insolvency.

The second item is proof positive that the highest-ranking Democrat in Congress is blocking any action on its No. 1 fiscal responsibility under the United States Constitution.

In other words, Obama's budget is dead on arrival, not at the hands of the Republicans, but as a result of his own party, which has not passed a budget in three straight years and won't pass this one, either.

If Obama campaigns around the country this year, as he has promised, railing against a "do-nothing" Congress blocking action on his agenda, Reid and his gang of accomplices in the Senate should be named as the chief culprits.

House Republican leaders have already announced that they will be sending a budget over to the Senate for its consideration, but Reid is on record saying the Senate does not need to pass a budget and he has no intention of bringing Obama's plan up for a vote.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has testified recently that Congress's failure to pass a budget throughout the economic recession we have endured, and still endure, has had a very negative impact on economic growth because of the uncertainty it has created in the economy.

ABC News' White House correspondent Jake Tapper questioned presidential press secretary Jay Carney about this last week, asking, "Who does the president think is right: Harry Reid or Ben Bernanke?"

Carney hemmed and hawed, saying "I don't have an opinion to express on how the Senate does its business with regards to this issue." But Tapper persisted. "The White House has no opinion about whether or not the Senate should pass a budget? The president's going to introduce one. The Fed chairman says not having one is bad for growth. But the White House has no opinion?"

Carney resisted a direct answer to Tapper's question, except to say the president "looks forward to the Senate acting on the policy initiatives contained within his budget," knowing full well that the Senate plans no action on his tax and spending proposals.

Carney won't say it, but the White House knows that Senate Democrats, especially those who are in tough re-election races in November, don't want to vote on this turkey.

Take, for example, Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, who distanced herself from Obama's budget Monday, saying that the size of his massive budget deficits were "unacceptable."

Notably, the budget reviews from the Washington news media's liberals have been among the most critical of Obama's presidency.

"The White House's budget for fiscal 2013 begins with a broken promise, adds some phony policy assumptions, throws in a few rosy forecasts and omits all kinds of painful decisions," writes Dana Milbank, the Washington Post's left-wing commentator.

Even the liberal New York Times was disappointed with the president's bulging budget, saying that it was "more a platform for the president's reelection campaign than a legislative proposal."

Among this budget's more egregious scandals and shortcomings:

-- Obama's failed promise to cut the budget deficit in half in four years. After three straight years of trillion-dollar-plus deficits, the 2012 revised deficit worsens under this week's projections.

-- The budget deficit will soar this year to $1.33 trillion, a bit higher than last year's $1.3 trillion -- or $200 billion more than the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently estimated.

-- The government's debt skyrockets under Obama's spending policies to $18.7 trillion by 2021 -- a stunning 76.5 percent of our economy. That's double the debt, held by investors, of 2007, the year before the U.S. economy plunged into a recession. And $1 trillion more than the White House projected last September.

-- Obama's proposed budgetary house of cards is built on a mountain of tax increases -- $1.5 trillion in higher tax levies on big corporations, capital investors and small businesses. Much of the new revenue would come from letting President George W. Bush's tax cuts expire on individuals earning more than $200,000 and two-earner households making more than $250,000 whose tax bill would rise to nearly 40 percent.

-- Obama insists that his budget really cuts spending, but it is hard to see any serious reduction in expenditures. The plan would pump close to half a trillion dollars more into new transportation projects and so-called job-creating "stimulus" spending on public works projects. Where have we heard that before?

In fact, he calls for major spending increases. Among them: a 5 percent raise for the Commerce Department; 2.5 percent more for Education; 3.2 percent more for Energy; 2 percent higher for Transportation; and a 5 percent hike for the National Science Foundation.

The most preposterous assumptions in this budget are the ones projecting a sharp increase in economic growth to make future tax revenue estimates look a lot better than most economists say is likely.

The budget assumes that Obama's second term will see 3.9 percent economic growth between 2014 to 2017, a pie-in-the-sky forecast that no economist is making at this time. This, together with Obama's higher taxes, would bring the deficit down to a projected $612 billion in fiscal 2017, according to the administration's rosy assumptions.

"If you believe that one, Mayor Bloomberg is selling shares in the Brooklyn Bridge," said University of Maryland economist Peter Morici.

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