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Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Democrats' Big Government Breakout

Historic battle lines are being drawn in the budget battle in Washington that too few understand. The Democrats are supporting an unprecedented breakout of Big Government taxes and spending. The Republicans are trying to draw the line at the stable level of federal taxes and spending relative to the economy that has prevailed throughout the postwar era up until now, and provided the foundation for the dominating postwar American prosperity.

At stake is whether the prosperity of the American Dream that has drawn millions to these shores over the years will endure. Or whether America will settle into permanent decline, a fading shadow of its former self. Is that the future you want to raise your family in? Is that the legacy you want to leave your children or grandchildren?

President Obama's Bankruptcy Budget Proposals

Under President Obama's own budget projections released in February, by next year the national debt will have doubled in only 4 years since 2008. By 2021 it will have more than tripled. Indeed, the national debt has been rocketing upwards so fast that under current policies more debt will be run up in one term under President Obama than under all other Presidents in history -- from George Washington to George Bush -- combined.

On our current course, indeed, our national debt as a percentage of GDP will soar past the level that triggered bankruptcy for Greece, when the financial markets refused to lend the government enough to cover its enormous annual deficit. The European Union tried to end that crisis with a trillion dollar bailout financed by its taxpayers. But who will bail out America? Who even could?

Those same President Obama February projections estimated the federal deficit for 2011 at $1.645 trillion, the highest in world history. That comes after unprecedented trillion dollar deficits of $1.3 trillion in 2010 and $1.4 trillion in 2009, adding $4.35 trillion to the national debt in just three years. For context, the highest deficit in history previously was $458 billion in 2008, President Bush's last year. The highest deficit during the Reagan years was $221 billion. The federal deficit for the last year in which the budget was adopted by Republican Congressional majorities (FY2007) was $161 billion, one-tenth the size of President Obama's deficit today.

Those deficits came about because from 2008 to 2011 President Obama's spending spree increased federal spending by 28%. In President Obama's 2011 budget, for every dollar spent, 43 cents will be borrowed. Spending for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the income security programs (mostly welfare), will consume 95% of all federal revenues. What is left will not even be enough to pay interest on the national debt, equal to 10% of federal revenues, leaving half of that to be borrowed. All the money for everything else the federal government does, including all of national defense, law enforcement, transportation, agriculture, indeed, for every cabinet department outside of spending for the above entitlements, all will have to be borrowed.

In this context, President Obama proposed his 2012 budget in February that would send federal spending soaring even more, increasing it by another 57% by 2021. Instead of proposing to reduce the deficits, that budget actually proposed to increase them and the national debt above current law baseline projections, by $26 billion for 2011, $83 billion for 2012, and about $2.8 trillion through 2021. This was President Obama's encore to Obamacare last year, which adopted or sharply expanded three entitlement programs ostensibly to cover the few million uninsured who actually can't afford to buy essential coverage on their own.

These are the reasons that Rush Limbaugh has long been saying that President Obama deliberately wants to trash the economy, thereby creating more dependents on his political machine.

Senate No Shows -- Send Them Home Without Pay

These are also the reasons that Senate Democrats thought they were clever in joining with Republicans to vote down the President's proposed 2012 budget 97-0. They said that budget was superseded anyway by President Obama's April 13 budget speech at George Washington University.

But a rhetorical speech is not a federal budget plan that can be voted on and implemented. Congressional budgets involve hundreds of pages of details that provide for the spending for every federal agency and program. The Republican budget proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan adopted by the House is precisely that. President Obama's April 13 speech is not anywhere near that. It is not a budget blueprint. It is a rhetorical sham and a dodge.

But this continues a long-standing pattern of Senate Democrats not even showing up for work. They never got around in 2010 to even adopting a budget for 2011. That is why we almost had a federal shutdown earlier this year. Now the Senate Democrat Majority has failed to even propose a budget this year for 2012.

The law requires Congress to adopt a budget. If Senate Democrats do not have to comply with the law, why do I have to?

And if Senate Democrats are not going to do their job, why are we paying them? Dock their pay and send them home. Someone in Nevada should file with the Secretary of State a call for a new election to fill Harry Reid's seat, on the grounds that he is a no-show for work.

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