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If what I read today is accurate, President Obama wants to freeze government spending and/or cut the spending of some departments by 5% in next year's budget.
For the very first time, I'll give Obama a 'Yes We Can !' without being satirical. It this happens, it's a baby step in the right direction. A very teeny, weeny baby step, but a step nonetheless.
Kinda. It might be only one more illusion from our President in an attempt to win the 2010 elections. Here's why....
As the Wall Street Journal noted a couple weeks ago, House Democrats are planning lots of spending INCREASES for 2010, and Democrats have been spending faster than drunken sailors ever dreamed:
The White House disclosed the other day that the fiscal 2009 budget deficit clocked in at $1.4 trillion, amid the usual promises to do something about it. Yet even as budget director Peter Orszag was speaking, House Democrats were moving on a dozen spending bills for fiscal 2010 that total 12.1% in more domestic discretionary increases.
Remember, inflation is running close to zero, or 0.8%. The good news, if we can call it that, is that Senate Democrats only want to increase nondefense appropriations by 8% for 2010. Because these funding increases become part of the permanent baseline for future appropriations, the 2010 House budget bills would permanently raise annual outlays for discretionary programs by about $75 billion a year from now until, well, forever.
These spending hikes do not include the so-called mandatory spending programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which exploded by 9.8% and 24.7%, respectively, in the just-ended 2009 fiscal year. All of this largesse is also on top of the stimulus funding that agencies received in 2009. The budget for the Environmental Protection Agency rose 126%, the Department of Education budget 209% and energy programs 146%.
House Republicans on the Budget Committee added up the 2009 appropriations, the stimulus funding and 2010 budgets and found that federal agencies will, on average, receive a 57% increase in appropriated funds from 2008-2010. By contrast, real family incomes fell by 3.6% last year. There's no recession in Washington.
More broadly, the White House and the 111th Congress have already enacted or proposed $3.4 trillion of new spending through 2019 for things like the health-care plan, cap and tax, and the children's health bill passed earlier this year. Very little of this has been financed with offsetting spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.
Throughout the era of Republican rule in Washington, we scored GOP lawmakers for their overspending and earmarks—and so did Nancy Pelosi and other Congressional Democrats. So how do their records compare? From 2001-2008 the average annual increase in appropriations bills came in at 6.4%—or about double the rate of inflation. In this Congress spending is now growing six times faster than inflation.
So, even if Obama does reign in federal spending for one year, the net effect is still massive increases in the size of government. Still, I'm so disgusted by both major parties in Washington D.C. that anything at all resembling fiscal responsibility sounds like manna from heaven to me. I know I'm being manipulated by the President, but I'll take it anyway. At least it's better than him increasing spending even more in 2010.
Also, this means that the tragic, country-killing deficit/debt situation is on Obama's radar screen for 2010, and hopefully beyond. Maybe our rookie left-wing community organizer Prez is beginning to learn something about economics. I certainly hope so. I pray he does. I pray he realizes those Tea Party protesters are NOT a bunch of nuts. Those Tea Party protesters are the ones who would save this country from certain economic doom. They are the ones shouting the loudest that this country is way off-track, and has been for some time. Yes, there are a few birthers in that crowd, like there are a few nuts in any crowd, but the message is one of fiscal responsibility. The real nuts are the people who don't see there is an enormous problem. You can recognize the real nuts easily, because they are the ones calling the Tea Partiers names.
Score one for Obama if he accomplishes this.