Record budget revealed

Published 6:47 pm Wednesday, February 10, 2010

By Staff
Last week, President Obama released the federal government’s fiscal 2011 budget. The annual unveiling of the budget is often a dry exercise, with few but Washington bean counters eagerly awaiting its arrival.  This year, however, there is much more interest because of the negative impact of this president’s tax and spend agenda on the lives of  every American and their children.
We got a taste of Mr. Obama’s misdirected spending plans during his State of the Union Address when he renewed his call for the passage of the costly Cap and Trade energy bill and government takeover of health care.  He also proposed a freeze in only a small portion of federal discretionary spending.  In reality, the 17 percent spending freeze he proposed will be about as effective in blocking the rise of federal red ink as a stack of sand bags placed in front of a tidal wave. 
He also didn’t mention that many of those programs for which he wanted to freeze spending for three years had just seen generous increases the year before at his request.  So, locking in spending at higher levels is hardly an effective belt tightening plan.
It seems “record” is used to describe just about everything coming out of government these days.  So it shouldn’t surprise many to hear that the Obama administration is offering a new budget that raises federal spending in FY 2011 to a record high of $3.8 trillion.  The new federal deficit – the gap between how much Washington spends and what it collects in revenues – also falls into record territory – rising to $1.6 trillion this year.  And that’s only the warm-up.
The president’s new budget would actually double the federal debt by the year 2015, and  by 2020, would triple it.  As the Congressional Budget Office observed in talking about the administration’s previous budget, this level of Washington spending is simply unsustainable.  The House Republican Study Committee notes the amount of new debt this nation will have taken on by the year 2020 is “larger than the amount of debt accumulated by the federal government from 1789 to today.”
Clearly, this administration is tone deaf when it comes to gauging the pain of the floundering economy’s impact on job creation.        As the president freely spends like there’s no tomorrow, he proposes huge job-killing tax increases to pay for his overspending.
For instance, the president’s new budget allows much of the 2001 and 2003 federal tax relief — that helped to spur job creation — to expire at the end of this year.  That alone amounts to a $2.8 trillion tax increase.
Digging deeper in the budget, the president has not abandoned his quest for new energy taxes and government health care.
Despite the widespread negative consequences on the economy, the president’s new budget also factors in a national energy tax.  Energy taxes are passed directly onto the consumer through higher energy rates and increased prices for goods and services.  An $843 billion energy tax was included in the administration’s “Cap and Trade” energy bill, which I opposed.  Cap and Trade remains stalled in the Senate.
The administration’s budget proposes $597 billion in new entitlement spending and $712 billion in new taxes to facilitate the president’s goal of a government takeover of health care.
Another familiar and controversial administration plan is also funded in the new budget.  The president calls for $237 million to buy, renovate and staff a new terrorist detention facility in Thomson, Illinois. 
I’ve cosponsored legislation withholding funding for the terrorist transfer from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to the U.S. mainland as well as legislation requiring prior congressional and state approval before any foreign terror detainees would be transferred to the United States.  Americans’ security should come first rather than affording foreign terrorists American constitutional protections.
Mr. Brown Finally Comes to Washington
Last Thursday, Massachusetts Senator-elect Scott Brown officially became a U.S. Senator.  He was seated a week earlier than planned due to a concern that the Democrat majority might seek to take advantage of their 60-seat supermajority by passing more controversial legislation before Senator Brown’s swearing-in.  With his arrival, the majority party can no longer shut out minority debate.
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