Column: A budget divorced from reality
I knew we were in for real budgetary trouble with Obama, but his recent statements on the subject make me wonder whether he is so brainwashed with liberal ideology as to be divorced from reality - or worse.
Based on his tireless rhetoric, it would appear that he thinks - contrary to all evidence, including the failure of his $868 billion stimulus package to create jobs - that even more spending would finally lead to jobs. This, though even his economic advisers have warned us not to expect unemployment levels to reduce to acceptable levels for years.
In the meantime, as wrongheaded as he is about government spending's creating jobs, he's outright delusional about what he's doing to the national debt - and that's giving him the benefit of the doubt.
On our current course of runaway discretionary and entitlement spending, we will bankrupt the nation, yet Obama refuses to get serious about meaningfully curbing discretionary spending and is obstructing and demagoguing entitlement reform.
If this doesn't get your attention, then you are asleep, in denial or irresponsibly apathetic. For if you were engaged, you would have heard or read about Obama's stunning statements on the budget last week.
He said, with a startling degree of casualness, "We will not be adding more to the national debt. ... We're not going to be running up the credit card any more."
Now juxtapose that sentence with the facts, even as he presents them. He has pledged to freeze - at already unacceptably high levels - domestic spending for five years. What cuts he would make over the next 10 years would only total $1.1 trillion - an average of just over $100 billion a year.
Look at Obama's own budget deficit projections for the next decade, beginning with 2012. 2012: $1.101 trillion, 2013: $768 billion, 2014: $645 billion, 2015: $607 billion, 2016: $649 billion, 2017: $627 billion, 2018: $619 billion, 2019: $681 billion, 2020: $735 billion, 2021: $774 billion. Total for 10 years: $7.205 trillion - an average deficit of $720 billion per year.
You simply cannot square these numbers with Obama's statement that he wouldn't be adding to the debt, unless he's actually confused about the difference between "deficits" and "debt," and that's almost as scary a thought as the numbers themselves.
That is, when you operate at staggering deficits that will add almost three-quarters of a trillion dollars to the debt each year, you are adding to the national debt; you are continuing to run up the national credit card.
A third-grader could understand that.
So tell me: What do you make of a man who presents a projected 10-year budget that, best case, would add $7.205 trillion to the national debt but simultaneously tells you he won't add to the debt?
What would it take to startle this man into reality? He can't blame this on Bush anymore. He owns the record 2011 debt and his 10-year budget. President Bush's deficits before the extraordinary 2008 one - with the Troubled Asset Relief Program, etc. - averaged about $300 billion, and the deficit was just $161 billion in 2007. That's right; just four years ago, our deficit was 10 percent of what it is today, $1.65 trillion.
A fiscally prudent president on the heels of that monstrous TARP year deficit of $1.3 trillion (it was more like $800 billion when you factor in TARP repayments) would have said, "We're going to drastically cut back and never have another deficit fiasco like that again."
But Obama saw the Bush 2008 deficit not as a warning sign to restore fiscal responsibility, but as an excuse to ratchet up federal spending to record levels in order to redistribute wealth and advance pet liberal causes - and that's precisely what he's done. Many of us warned that much of the spending he engineered in the stimulus was not a one-time affair, but new self-perpetuating programs. Sure enough, here we are at $1.65 trillion.
When Republicans proposed to cut just $100 billion from the continuing resolution, Obama and his shameless party called their proposal "Draconian," as if to say that it's immoral unless it bankrupts the nation. Is it Draconian not to spend $65 million on a tribute to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy? Is it not Draconian to impoverish our children and grandchildren?
Regardless of Obama's deeper motives, the reality is that he doesn't want to be responsible with our money because he intends to continue to play mad economic scientist with his failed experiments and keep throwing mega-dollars at walls, such as with this high-speed rail boondoggle, until there's nothing left to hurl.
Frankly, it's hard to comprehend why there's as little outrage and noise about this as there is. It's as if we are all walking the nation off the plank while our pied piper president tells us everything is going to be fine.