Five Days Until the President’s Budget: What Have We Learned?
For the last nine days, we’ve been counting down to the release of the president’s budget and asking some important questions. Today, we got a few answers – and they weren’t good.
Numerous reports emerged this morning previewing what we’ll see when the president’s long-delayed budget arrives on Wednesday. And it looks like those hoping that the president would offer a plan to balance the budget – ever – will be awfully disappointed. All together, it appears the president’s budget will reduce the deficit by a meager $600 billion in the next decade. Repeat: $600 billion over ten years. By comparison, the budget deficit for this year alone is projected to be $845 billion.
We’ve been hoping that the president would finally learn that spending is the problem and make a meaningful attempt to rein in Washington’s growth. It doesn’t seem that will happen either. It’s reported that the president’s budget will include at least $600 billion new tax hikes. Given that the total deficit reduction in the president’s plan is a similar $600 billion, basic math would show that the president’s plan will offer no net spending cuts. Any deficit reduction will come exclusively from tax hikes. An $845 billion budget deficit in just this year, and no net spending cuts from the president at all. Not very bold.
We’ve also been wondering whether the president would put back on the table some of the spending cuts that he’s walked away from over the last two years. If reports are true, that appears to be one more disappointment coming our way Wednesday. The president’s plan will continue to come without some of the needed entitlement savings he was willing to do in previous deficit negotiations. Common sense ideas he once said were worth pursuing have – poof – disappeared. And the few modest reforms he does plan to offer are contingent on another round of tax increases – never mind that the president got his higher taxes on the wealthy just a few months back.
It seems the more time goes by the president moves further and further in the wrong direction. Given that, this budget – as disappointing as it seems it will be – can’t get here soon enough. Just five more days.