Obama Budget, More of the Same, Including Disappointment for Taxpayers

David Williams

February 13, 2012

In 2011, taxpayers sent a clear signal to all Washington politicians that politics (and especially spending) as usual just won’t be tolerated anymore.  Today, President Obama unveiled his FY 2013 budget with little or no recognition that he understands the frustration of taxpayers.  The budget shows that taxpayers have little to be excited about, especially since the budget deficit will top $900 billion year 2013.    Here is the quick and dirty.  According to CNN money, “President Obama unveiled a $3.8 trillion budget request Monday that hikes taxes on the rich, spends new money on infrastructure and education, but does little to reform the entitlement programs that pose the biggest long-term threat to the federal budget. . . .  The administration is proposing a series of investments focused on infrastructure, education and domestic manufacturing, including old favorites like $30 billion to modernize schools and an additional $30 billion to retain and hire teachers and first responders.  One key element of that plan is a six-year proposal to spend $476 billion on surface transportation, a big increase from current levels, and much more than other proposals lawmakers are considering.”

The worse news is the tax increases on those who already pay their fair share.  According to CNN, “The budget proposes a tax hike of $1.5 trillion, which includes a provision that will allow the Bush tax cuts to expire for high-income earners, a long-held Obama position.”

The cuts that the budget proposes are window dressing and amount to only $24 billion (see a full list here).  This is a far cry from the $1.3 trillion budget deficit that is projected for fiscal year 2013.  “In the Cuts, Consolidations, and Savings volume, the Administration details the 210 cuts, consolidations, and savings measures that are proposed in the 2013 Budget. These proposals total more than $24 billion in 2013, and $520 billion through 2022.”  Compare this to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which detailed a number of spending cuts in its March 2011 report, “Reducing the Deficit: Spending and Revenue Options.”  The cuts/savings are broken up into three categories: Mandatory (savings would total $29 billion in one year and $590 billion over five years); Defense Discretionary (with total of $10 billion in one year and $178 billion over five years); and Non-Defense Discretionary (with a total of $13 billion in one year and $147 billion over five years).  All told these savings would be more than $900 billion over five years.  In December 2001, the National Commission on Fiscal Reform and Integrity, a deficit reduction effort led by former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles and former Republican Senate Whip Alan Simpson (R-Wy.) released a report on potential spending cuts that would eclipse $2 trillion from 2012 to 2020.

With this proposed budget taxpayers can be sure that Obama’s tax and spend ways are back in full effect and spending cuts have again taken a back seat.

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