Saturday, April 4, 2009

Obama’s budget a bill we can’t repay

By Lynn Westmoreland

A few years back, Republicans controlled all branches of government and Democrats howled about the GOP’s budget gimmicks and spendthrift ways.

I admit there was some truth to their charges. I fought my fellow Republicans at the time to cut spending and shrink the size of government just like we’d promised our constituents we would do.

But now that Democrats control every branch of government, I can’t help but look back on Republican deficits as mere child’s play compared to what President Obama and his fellow travelers have in store for us: trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see and no plausible plan for ever paying it back.

What has become of America when the leaders of Communist China and socialist Europe can legitimately preach to us about spending too much? The president of the European Union – an organization hardly known for its fiscal conservatism or aversion to big government – recently called Obama’s spending plans a “road to hell.”

I can’t remember ever agreeing with a leader of the EU on economic policy, but I guess there’s a first for everything.

The Democrat budget, set for a vote this week in the House, spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much.

President Obama promised his legions of young supporters on the campaign trail that he would restore fiscal sanity to Washington and kick all those money-grubbing special interests to the curb. Blue Dog Democrats swore they’d stand up to ultraliberal Speaker Nancy Pelosi and impose “paygo” – which means that every dollar of new spending is balanced out with cuts elsewhere or new revenue.

Ha! Jokes on us, I guess. They pulled a fast one.

Instead of balancing budgets and reforming entitlement spending and “making tough choices” (Remember that Obama phrase?), the Democrats’ plan is quite simple: Just spend, spend, spend. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Obama’s plan will expand the debt by $9.3 trillion over the next 10 years. That’s more than all the debt accumulated by the nation from George Washington to George W. Bush.

There’s a whack to fiscal sanity.

The CBO further predicts that federal spending will average 23 percent of gross domestic product while federal revenue will equal about 19 percent of GDP. That’s government expansion of 3 percent of GDP.

Double whack!

The Democrats’ $3.6 trillion budget raises taxes on all Americans by $1.3 trillion. Hey, reader, that’s you. Whether you’re a parent struggling to pay the bills, a small business person trying to avoid layoffs or worse, or an employee at a plant worried about keeping your job, the Democrats’ taxes are going to hit you. They promised a “middle class tax cut” but now they’ve dropped that idea. It was merely a sleight of hand to distract attention away from the global warming taxes that will hike costs for every American who turns on a light switch.

Triple whack! Still standing?

The Congressional Budget Office’s budget analysis paints a much more realistic and, hence, much worse scenario for our nation’s future than Obama’s numbers. That’s because Obama’s rosier predictions are based on the assumption that we’ll experience year after year of economic expansion greater than any in American history. How dumb do they think we are?

The Democrats are now scurrying to cover their big-spending ways by adopting the exact same budget gimmicks they deplored the past eight years. These include keeping “emergency” spending items that you know are coming out of the budget, budgeting tens of billions in revenue from the alternative minimum tax which Congress never implements and reducing the budget window from 10 years to five years to hide the exploding deficits in the out years.

That’s hypocrisy. But hypocrisy is a mere misdemeanor compared with the felonious theft from future generations with the trillions in IOUs we’ll be handing them.

Lynn Westmoreland (R-Grantville) represents Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District.
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