April 18, 2009
NYC Letter: Pants On Fire III
Day 88 of CHOPE
If we’re to going to rebuild our economy on a solid foundation, we need to change the way we do business in Washington. We need to restore the American people’s confidence in their government – that it is on their side, spending their money wisely, to meet their families’ needs.
That starts with the painstaking work of examining every program, every entitlement, every dollar of government spending and asking ourselves: Is this program really essential? Are taxpayers getting their money’s worth [and this]? Can we accomplish our goals more efficiently or effectively some other way?
It’s a process we have already begun, scouring our budget line by line for programs that don’t work so we can cut them to make room for ones that do. That means ending tax breaks for companies shipping jobs overseas; stopping the fraud and abuse in our Medicare program; and reforming our health care system to cut costs for families and businesses. It means strengthening whisteblower protections for government employees who step forward to report wasteful spending. And it means reinstating the pay-as-you-go rule that we followed during the 1990s – so if we want to spend, we’ll need to find somewhere else to cut.
President of the United States
WEEKLY ADDRESS: President Obama Discusses Efforts
to Reform Spending, Government Waste
Saturday, April 18, 2009 (White House)
Having attained the office of president, Mr. Obama continues to regale us with campaign bromides. Having out-spent, out-deficited, out-bloated-government, and out-programmed all presidents -- all presidents combined -- Mr. Obama now announces it is time to spend responsibly, reduce deficits, downsize government, and eliminate wasteful programs.
Do you believe this? Mr. Obama certainly hopes you are just this stupid.
Unlike Mr. Obama who thinks now is the time to read line by line -- to "scour" -- spending bills he has already signed unexamined and rushed into law, we think the responsible procession of fiscal management is to read the legislation first, use the line item veto to excise waste, and only sign into law useful programs and necessary appropriations.
As for pay-as-you-go spending, this is a fairy tale. Mr. Obama's proposed 2010 budget was $3.6 trillion. This was a $500B increase over Mr. Bush's 2009 budget request. Where exactly were the cuts to offset his new spending? [We search the stars.] There were no offsetting cuts, i.e., sufficient cuts to old spending to pay for new spending. That left taxes -- $1.4T in tax increases sweetened with $800B in tax breaks.* And still, rosey analyses have $500B federal deficits from here to the end of time.
This is what fiscal management by a community organizer looks like.
Shinola. Fairy tales. Unrepayable debt.
* This is a favorite government dodge. The government enforces revenue collection of tax increases, however it is under no obligation to ensure that a taxpayer pays the least tax due. Given the complexity and ambiguity of the tax code, "tax breaks" often go unrealized, especially by DIY filers. So whereas the government is confident in collecting its $1.4T in increases, it does not really expect to suffer the full $800B loss in tax breaks.