Obama and his budget failure

It is becoming more painfully obvious every day that President Obama is not capable of the job he has.  But we shouldn’t be surprised. What experience has he had? He’s never had to run a business, to meet payroll, or to manage a limited budget for a company that doesn’t actually print the money.

When a company or a family don’t have enough money coming in, they have to make tough choices.  In order to survive, they have to not only stop the bleeding, they have to reverse it. This is something the US Federal Government has yet to learn. That much is not necessarily Obama’s fault – it’s been going on for years.  But it certainly is his problem now, since he is on the job.  And he has been a dismal failure.

Now we are being told that he had to make some “tough choices” in this budget.  Those tough choices amount to $775 million in a budget whose deficit is $1.5 Trillion.

Part of the problem is that when the numbers all sound big, we lose perspective.  This is nothing more than smoke-and-mirrors misdirection.  In order to put things in perspective, we need to look at the deficit compared directly with the “tough” cuts.  I’ll align the numbers so that we see just how insignificant the cuts are so far:

Deficit: $1,500,000,000,000
“Tough Choice” Cuts: $775,000,000

Laid out this way, we can see the insignificance of the amount.  Here’s an analogy.  If Obama was running a small business that was losing $1.5 million dollars a year, his “tough choices” amount to cutting $775 from his budget.

The federal debt increased by $105.8 billion in January 2011 alone.  Obama’s “tough choice” spending cuts amount to 0.73% of that amount.  But remember that those cuts are annual and the $105.8 billion is a single month.

These cuts are insignificant.  That doesn’t mean these cuts shouldn’t be made.  They certainly should.  But there needs to be more; much more!

The smoke and mirrors don’t stop there.  The proposed spending freeze, which is being promoted as a cut, will reportedly save $400 billion over 10 years.  While that is also moving in the right direction, it’s still not big enough – even though it sounds that way.  This is how they want you to think of it:

Annual Deficit: $1,500,000,000,000
10 Year Spending Freeze: $ 400,000,000,000

$400 billion savings sounds like it’s taking a chunk out of the deficit. Except that those savings are over 10 years.  So it is actually $40 billion this year (the same year we have a projected $1.5 trillion deficit):

Annual Deficit: $1,500,000,000,000
Annual  Spending Freeze: $ 40,000,000,000

Certainly moving in the right direction, but the misdirection of the way it explained is an attempt by the Obama Administration to get let off the hook.  They are basically saying, “Hey, we’re cutting the deficit.  We cut $400 billion over 10 years.”   They’ll repeat this mantra over and over, until it becomes more like this, “Hey, we’re cutting the deficit.  We cut $400 billion.”  See the difference?

Now the Republicans have announced some real cuts, not just spending freezes.  Their cuts will amount to trimming $35 billion from the budget.  As we have seen, that’s not going to balance the budget, but spending freezes are not cuts and cutting $775 million isn’t going to get us there.  So $35 billion moves in the right direction.

The Left will never willingly move in that direction.  They are a party that believes in big government solutions.  That is completely at odds with the kind of meaningful cuts we need to fix this problem.  An annual $1.5 trillion deficit can only be fixed by shrinking the size of government, and that doesn’t sit well with the party of “Tax and Spend.”  The Left has issued a “call to arms” to fight these cuts. (Wait a minute.  Weren’t we just recently told by the Left that we should stop using violent metaphor in our rhetoric?)  So if you are concerned about this unsustainable deficit spending, how can you possibly support a party that refuses to take meaningful steps to cut the spending.

Oh, I can hear the dissenters now.  We had a budget surplus under Clinton and the evil Republicans blew it on an illegal war.  First, I will not argue that spending was mismanaged under the Bush Administration.  However, I will remind you that the balanced budget under Clinton came because he was forced to reign in spending by a Republican Congress.  In fact, the only point on the Contract With America that was left unfulfilled was getting a balanced budget amendment passed.  At least they were able to balance the budget.

We need the same kind of leadership now.  In fact, the times call for even bigger leadership as the perils are greater.  If that takes a government shutdown like we had in the 90s, so be it.  If we do not change course drastically and immediately, we are headed for certain disaster of apocalyptic proportions.