Our celebrity president is taking some time away from TV appearances and campaigning to actually submit his budget for the upcoming year. He is already in violation of the law that required him to present his plan to fix our economy on February 4, but the country has its timetable, and he has his.
The president is said to be “frustrated” that Republicans won’t work with him on the economy. But it’s hard to work with someone who hasn’t shown any interest in tackling the long-term fiscal problems our country faces. If President Obama thinks Speaker Boehner is a tough adversary, wait until he hears from rank-and-file Republicans in the speaker’s caucus.
President Obama’s budget will be unveiled later this month. Here are a few things to expect from it:
The budget will not propose any solution to the country’s long-term fiscal imbalance. The flaw in Obama’s position has always been that his tax increases on the “wealthy” will not appreciably change our long-term budget problems. Incorporating the revenue from his tax increase at the end of last year will still leave huge budget deficits in the out years. That is because entitlement spending, especially on health care, will continue to spin out of control and Obama refuses to propose anything substantive to change this pattern. In his State of the Union address this January, he actually proposed spending more, not less, on a variety of initiatives.
The economic assumptions in the president’s budget will be unrealistic. In the Reagan years, the media would refer to Reagan’s growth assumptions as a “rosy scenario.” Actually, the economy hit Reagan’s high growth numbers more often than not. Since Obama is immune from press criticism and accountability, his budget is not labeled as “rosy,” but it should be. His budget document will surely project growth assumptions far in excess of what this administration has ever achieved so as to make the out-year deficits look better. The economy has never grown 3% in any year of his presidency, and anything above that in this budget is indeed a “rosy scenario.”