Budget Is a Spending Free-For-All
Obama proposes spending that will go on forever, and he is hoping to cement his legacy with new programs and proposals that will bear his name forever. House Speaker Paul Ryan says it is a non-starter, but we will see. It is a wish list of Democrat programs that add up to financial ruin, and they should be embarrassed at such an irresponsible display of fiscal stupidity.
The 182-page wish list includes longtime goals such as cutting carbon pollution, universal preschool and criminal justice reform as well as billions of dollars in new investments in cybersecurity and clean energy.
It would also step up the policing of Wall Street, with $1.8 billion to double the budgets of market watchdogs in the Securities and Exchange Commission, and create new grants to entice the 19 states that haven’t to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
It’s the first budget blueprint from Obama after a deal with former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) last fall that set him free of the painful caps on discretionary spending. Obama’s budget calls for an end the mandatory spending limits starting in 2018 while sticking to the discretionary caps for 2017.
Vowing to focus on “the decades to come,” Obama laid out a $150 billion boost in national “research and development” in areas from biomedical research to space exploration. The funding would be a 6 percent increase from 2016.
This year’s budget calls for the biggest commitments yet to strengthen cybersecurity and fight climate change, which Obama said would reflect “the kind of country we want to pass on to our children and grandchildren.”
Obama’s plans for “clean transportation infrastructure” alone would cost $320 billion, with another $11 billion in clean energy — an increase of more than 25 percent over last year’s proposal. The $19 billion requested for cybersecurity is a 35 percent jump from 2016.
The ambitious budget for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 would be paid for by about $550 billion worth of tax increases, as well as a tax of $10 per barrel of oil that is one of the proposal’s most controversial pieces. The oil tax is projected to bring in about $320 billion.
Administration officials say the plan would cut the deficit by $2.9 trillion over the next decade, with $955 billion in savings coming from new taxes increases on the nation’s highest-earning individuals and closing loopholes. Other savings come from the president’s healthcare law — nearly all from changes to Medicare — and sweeping reform of the immigration system, which failed in Congress.
The administration would also save about $50 billion through massive cuts to the nation’s crop insurance program and the elimination of a half-dozen oil, coal and gas tax credits.
So the bottom line is there are giant giveaways and takeaways. Obama is determined to create a huge “green energy” bureaucracy, despite the fact that 90% of Americans now reject global warming as a priority item. The budget attacks the middle class with additional taxes on oil, and Obama seems intent on taxing upper income members of society to the very limit. He is, and always has been, a big government, social justice, take your money away president who feels entitled and who is absolutely petulant when anyone demands he deal with reality.
This budget should be dead on arrival, and should also be a club with which to beat socialist Bernie Sanders over the head with during this election season. At least we know that this will be the last time Obama has to try and damage the United States with such a preposterous fiscal proposal, but we must be wary, lest the Republicans once again talk big and then betray the nation and pass this monstrosity.