Thursday, February 4, 2010

The President's Budget: No Fiscal Restraint in Sight

On Monday, February 01, 2010 President Barack Obama unveiled his budget for Fiscal Year 2011. Despite ongoing verbal nods to the need for fiscal restraint, this budget however delivers little of that. The President’s discretionary spending “freeze” proves to be little more than a sleight of hand. A more accurate portrayal than “discretionary spending freeze” was given by Republican staff on the Committee on the Budget, who referred to the “freeze” as a “freeze in non-defense, non-homeland, non-Veterans, non-international affairs, non-Pell Grant, non-emergency discretionary spending.” Indeed, the three-year freeze only applies to 13% of the budget and does not go into effect until 2011. To create the illusion of fiscal responsibility, the budget touts some other gimmicks which will do little to rein in Federal spending but will likely lead us down the path of higher taxes. Among them are: The enforcement of pay-as-you-go, which is nothing more than a fig leaf to provide political cover for tax-and-spend policies, and would in fact set the stage for higher taxes being touted as the only way to avoid across-the-board cuts in entitlement more

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