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February 10 2016

POTUS’ 2016 Budget: The Most Expensive Proposed Spending Spree in History

Patrice J. Lee

President Obama released his final budget of his 8-year tenure and it’s a whopping $4.1 trillion in spending on liberal priorities. He wants to increase spending by 4.9 percent over the next decade on the backs of (wealthy) taxpayers.

In his message to Congress, POTUS called his budget: “a roadmap to a future that embodies America’s values and aspirations: a future of opportunity and security for all of our families; a rising standard of living; and a sustainable, peaceful planet for our kids.”

Those are just lofty promises that translate to more big government spending. In fact, the covert art on the budget some noticed sets the tone for what’s inside: mountains of spending and mountains of debt.

Obama proposes multibillion dollar investment in clean energy, education and job growth. He panders to moms and millennials with proposals for universal preschool and free community college. He proposed a $1 billion initiative on cancer research, a billion to fight the new Zika virus spreading through South American countries, and $1.1 billion for treatment of addiction to prescription pain medication and heroin.

There’s also more funding for the IRS. Perhaps they have kicked and complained enough about cuts to their funding by Congress following their discriminatory campaign against conservative Tea Party groups. He’s also asking for $19 billion to shore up government’s cyber defenses.

The price tag is staggering, and, if put into action, will be paid for by us taxpayers in sundry ways and over many generations to come. He wants a $10 per barrel oil tax to pay for transportation improvements raising an estimated $170 billion in new revenue over the next decade. With unjustified optimism, he expects some $955 billion in savings coming from ending tax breaks and hiking taxes on the nation’s highest-earning individuals.

That still won’t be enough to cover budget deficits which will increase the national debt from $19 trillion to $27.4 trillion.

Republicans in Congress gave his budget a chilly reception starting with House Speaker Paul Ryan: “President Obama will leave office having never proposed a budget that balances — ever... This isn’t even a budget so much as it is a progressive manual for growing the federal government at the expense of hardworking Americans."

The Daily Signal captured other sentiments including some funny tweets:

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., complained that the proposal does nothing “to overcome the biggest challenges of our time” or make “the government live within its means.”

“There’s a fair amount of irony when you have what looks to be Mount Denali on the front,” Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., told The Daily Signal. “There’s a degree of intentional or unintentional debt symbolism.”

Other than that, there’s “not a lot” worth evaluating, Sanford said. He predicts the document “won’t be taken seriously” among House Republicans and “won’t have much bearing” on any committee debates.

“It does everything exactly the opposite we teach kids in Economics 101 if you want to grow your economy,” Rep. David Brat, R-Va., told The Daily Signal.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., tweeted “#NotTheOnion” to clarify that Obama’s proposal didn’t come from the satirical web magazine.

In a press release, Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., quipped that “the only positive thing about this budget request is that it’s the last one we will receive from President Obama.”

As with his previous budgets, we shouldn’t expect President Obama’s last budget to get anywhere in Congress – except perhaps on the very rare areas where there is bipartisan support.

His budget is a reminder of how out-of-step he is with American families who make living within their means a priority. Our economy has seen modest growth, but not nearly enough to support what the president is proposing. He wants to waste our resources rather than being responsible and paying on  our current bills throwing debt on the backs of future generations.

There’s a lot that could be done with $4.1 trillion dollars as CNBC reports. For example, we could buy the top 13 companies in the S&P 500 which includes Walmart, Amazon, Apple, and Google. It could also acquire 342 of the smallest companies –some half of the S&P 500- such as Sysco, Pepco Holdings, and Kellogg. Given the government’s track record though, would we want the federal government to apply its brand of efficiency and effectiveness to Amazon or Kellogg?

The best thing we could do is cut spending. In the words of Senator Perdue, “Every elected official in Washington needs to start saying four simple words Americans use all the time: ‘We cannot afford it.’”

Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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