Over $1.6 trillion in this budget comes from tax increases on families, small businesses, and America’s energy producers. If anything else has become clear in this economic downturn, it is that you cannot raise taxes in the worst economy in 25 years. Taking the taxpayers’ money during a recession to continue wasteful, reckless spending is not the kind of budget the American people are looking for.
After asking the American people to pick up this bloated tab of billions, the President’s budget proceeds to brazenly propose more spending. The spending includes projects like $100 million to expand the Smithsonian, $148 billion for various research, and over $53 billion for high-speed rail including $5.5 billion on a “train to nowhere.”
President Obama has said our economy will grow and industry will prosper if we “out-build, out-innovate, and out-hustle the rest of the world.” However, what this budget does is out-spend and over-tax. Prosperity comes not by government, but from an economic freedom of the very government programs that are killing jobs in our country.
On the debt front, the numbers aren’t much better. Our current $14 trillion national debt will swell to $16.7 trillion in just one year under Obama’s budget.
In his State of the Union, President Obama said, ‘we have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in. That is not sustainable.’ By increasing our deficit to a record high and raising taxes by billions, President Obama’s numbers fail to meet his own standards. But the President was right. And now is the time for leadership. However, this budget is a turn in the absolutely wrong direction.
Perhaps even more obvious that Obama has steered clear of any tough decisions on spending and entitlements is the review given by the former Chairman of his Debt Commission, Erskine Bowles. He said the budget comes “nowhere near where they will have to go to resolve our fiscal nightmare.” Not exactly a vote of confidence.
While the President stated his new budget was created of "tough choices and sacrifices," it’s clear it will be the American taxpayer making the sacrifices to afford these spending and tax hikes. President Obama should instead go back to the drawing board, dust off the calculator, and create a responsible, balanced budget so the taxpayer doesn’t get stuck budgeting the balance.
We are devastatingly broke and despite the talk of fiscal responsibility and cuts, this budget raises spending from last year’s historic high, and adds $13 trillion to the debt. We are now facing a record fourth straight year of $1 trillion-plus deficits, $1.6 trillion in more taxes, and more reckless spending. We are on an unsustainable path. And it seems this Administration has yet to learn its spending binge has crippled the economy and not created jobs.
Though President Obama has yet to align his actions with his rhetoric, House Republicans are serious about getting our fiscal house in order. One of the first votes we took at the beginning of the 112th Congress was to cut our own salaries and decrease our budgets by 5 percent. And this week, we will make good on our promise to cut $100 billion of wasteful Washington spending.
The only way to get our country back on the road to prosperity is to start making hard choices on entitlements and stop spending away our children’s future. Our debt and deficit are stunningly serious matters. But, unfortunately, this is a budget that cannot be taken seriously.
Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) represents the Scottsdale, Tempe area and is serving his first term in Congress. He was former treasurer of Maricopa County and chaired Arizona’s Board of Equalization. He currently serves on the Financial Services Committee.