Just two short years ago Democrats howled and shrieked over the Bush administration’s proposed 2009 budget. The $3.1 trillion spending plan was projected to rack up a record $407 billion deficit.
“If they gave out Olympic medals for fiscal irresponsibility, President Bush would take the gold, silver and bronze,” cried Sen. Kent Conrad, the North Dakota Democrat. “With his eight years in office, he will have had the five highest deficits ever recorded.”
Well, yes, but …
On Monday, President Barack Obama revealed that it won’t take long for him to roar through any spending records set by Mr. Bush. His 2011 fiscal year budget runs a whopping $3.8 trillion and calls for a deficit of $1.6 trillion.
During his eight years in office, Mr. Bush ran up $4.9 trillion in debt — an obscene number, to be sure. But Mr. Obama will hit $4.5 trillion in just his first three years — with no end in sight.
Yes, the president inherited a major recession and potential bank meltdown. Yes, his proposed domestic spending freeze — though extremely limited in scope — represents a small step forward. But during his short time in office, Mr. Obama has presided over and applauded the largest federal spending binge in the republic’s history. And the 2011 budget Mr. Obama proposes threatens to aggravate the long-term deficit by embracing policies that will only further harm, rather than resuscitate, the ailing private sector.
The White House budget proposal calls for massive tax increases on those who actually create the one thing the president claims to care so much about: jobs. The Obama spending blueprint will confiscate an additional $970 billion over the next 10 years from individuals who earn more than $200,000 and couples who make a combined $250,000. This will be accomplished through a number of means, including an increase in the top income tax rate and a bump in the capital gains tax.
In addition, while Mr. Obama pushes business tax credits or small business loans to promote hiring, his budget will actually increase taxes on businesses over the next decade by about $400 billion.
This is a recipe for job creation?
Couple all this with the ongoing uncertainty over the inevitable costs associated with the president’s massive health care proposal and his plan to punish anybody who uses energy, and is it any wonder that businesses aren’t rushing to expand and the economy continues to stagnate?
Yet standing atop his two-year spending orgy, Mr. Obama now has the gall to cast himself as a deficit hawk — a victim of circumstance whose 2011 budget will lay a “new foundation for lasting growth.”
For the federal government, perhaps.