Would President Obama Veto His Own Deficit-Riddled, Job-Destroying Budget?

In a “Statement of Administration Policy” (SAP) yesterday, the White House announced that the president will veto legislation that “curtails the drivers of long-term economic growth and job creation while continuing to burden future generations with deficits.” This begs the question: would President Obama veto his own budget?

After all, the president’s FY12 budget would “burden future generations with deficits”…

  • “His plan calls for annual deficits - and therefore annual borrowing ... The national debt would then level off at about 76 percent of economy, nearly double the debt burden the nation carried before the recent recession.” (Obama budget projects record $1.6 trillion deficit, Washington Post, 2/14/11)

…and would “curtail the drivers of long-term economic growth and job creation”…

  • “The danger is that a persistently large gap in the budget could threaten the economy. … [I]f borrowing turned more expensive, people and businesses might scale back their spending. That would weaken an economy still struggling to lower unemployment…” (Deficit is biggest as share of economy since 1945, Associated Press, 2/15/11)
  • "It is wishful thinking to assert that our nation can continue to pile more than a trillion dollars a year onto its debt without driving up interest rates, depressing the dollar, and smothering the productive economy." (Budget Bust, National Review, 2/15/11)
  • “Sustained high rates of government borrowing would both drain funds away from private investment and increase our debt to foreigners, with adverse long-run effects on U.S. output, incomes, and standards of living.” (Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, The Economic Outlook and Monetary and Fiscal Policy, FederalReserve.gov, 2/9/11)

Curiously, the White House SAP is actually a veto threat against H.R. 1, an historic discretionary spending cut – and the kind ofimmediate action to rein in federal spending” that 150 economists say is needed “[t]o support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs.” If the president is really “committed to cutting spending and reducing the deficit so that current government spending does not add to the debt” as his SAP says, he should take his budget back to the drawing board – and urge his party in Congress to support H.R. 1.