The President Demonstrated Again Yesterday That He’s Not Serious About Cutting Spending
President Obama’s wild rhetorical gyrations have become familiar. Earlier this year, for example, he called budget cuts proposed by House Republicans “extreme,” suggesting they hurt “our most vulnerable citizens.” Yet after agreeing to many of them last Friday, he praised them as “worthwhile,” “common sense,” and evidence America is “beginning to live within our means.”
In his speech at George Washington University yesterday, Mr. Obama repeated the mantra that “We have to live within our means, reduce our deficit, and get back on a path that will allow us to pay down our debt.” But these words ring hollow coming from a president who has overseen a staggering increase in spending since coming to power. His most recent budget would nearly double the public debt in the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
Moreover, the goal Mr. Obama laid out yesterday—”a balanced approach to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction over 12 years”—was missing but one thing: a concrete blueprint to reaching it. That is what his budget, submitted in February, was supposed to do.
None of this should come as any surprise. Mr. Obama routinely describes a fiscal nirvana without telling Americans how he proposes to get there.
The Heritage Foundation’s Brian Riedl points out Mr. Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget conjured up $700 billion in defense savings “by comparing the long-planned drawdown of Iraq and Afghanistan spending against a baseline that implausibly assumes those [war] costs would continue forever.” He also notes that the budget proposes $315 billion in savings from eliminating “certain tax expenditures,” but does not list which ones.