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    Obama’s Budget: Built for the Election

    02/15/2012

    Democracy and Power 107:  Counting votes

    Successful … politicians are insecure and intimidated men. They advance politically only as they placate, appease, bribe, seduce, bamboozle or otherwise manage to manipulate the demanding and threatening elements in their constituencies. – Walter Lippmann (1889-1974), American Journalist and Author

     

    Obama’s Budget: Built for the Election

    The United States budget farce continues, and Mr. Obama has completely abandoned his fiscal responsibilities.  Last year, the President's budget was was ludicrously defeated 0 to 97in the Senate.  This year, President Obama’s budget attempts to placate, bribe and bamboozle the American electorate.  In not so many words, it is calculated to buy as many votes needed to win the 2012 election. 

    On the other hand, Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) is the rare politician who takes our government debt seriously as well as the horrendous consequences approaching our nation.  Few, if any, in government, have the depth of his knowledge on fiscal matters.  Last year, Ryan presented his Path to Prosperity, which calls for cuts as well as a restructuring of government programs, particularly Medicare and Medicaid, two enormous drivers of our debt.

    The President responded to Ryan's proposal by inviting him to to a speech where the President ridiculed Ryan's Path.  The Democrats then followed up with a television ads depicting Ryan as man pushing an elderly woman in a wheelchair off a cliff.  Unfortunately, these juvenile and scurrilous responses appealed to the emotions of many voters, which frightened most politicians from taking a stand on what they believe in.

    Representative Ryan will present a budget proposal for the House of Representatives again this year.  And without a doubt, the Democrats will produce more attack ads, while the President panders for votes.  Walter Lippmann never knew the current politicians, but he certainly knew their conniving manipulations when he wrote: 

    They advance politically only as they placate, appease, bribe, seduce, bamboozle or otherwise manage to manipulate the demanding and threatening elements in their constituencies.

     Perilously, America is nearly void of serious and honest leadership. 

    Senate Majority Lead Reid (D-NV) has harmfully said there is no need for a budget.  What?? And, hence, the farce continues.  America continues to drown in dangerous debt and the Senate continues to not produce a budget.  It's now over 1000 days!

    Why have we not seen a buget?  A budget would reveal the serious choices America must make.  Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are the gigantic drivers of deficits and debt, but have strong voting constituencies.  Sen. Reid reckons it is better to obfuscate and delay than to honestly present the alternatives and solutions to the American public.

    Thus, the state of American politics for 2012 is --– “politics as usual.”  President Obama is proposing money and programs for every voting block.  Please take notice of where he has chosen to announce his budget.  When the President announced work training programs, tuition credits and capping interest rates on education loans, he was at a community college to better position himself with young voters.

    Let's not forget President Obama's transportation projects, increased salaries for federal workers, and billions of dollars slated for education, manufacturing and government research.  While the trade and public employee unions should be excited, the rest of American may want to wonder where the money is coming from.

    And taxes?  There is a tax increase on corporations, hedge-fund managers and the wealthy.  Mr. Obama would like to increase taxes on families and small businesses making over making over $250,000, and implement a millionaire tax of at least 30%.  Very few voters will be offended by these decisions, and more voters will be energized to rally around the President.

    Hence, President Obama will run deficits of over $5 trillion during his current term in office, and, contrary to all these manipulations and political double-speak, there are two certain outcomes.  One, all the taxes on the rich will not be enough to balance the budget.  Two, in the very near future, young, American workers will be pay for and be penalized for this debilitating debt by paying higher taxes and experiencing restricted economic growth.

    President Obama puts election politics over his duty to America.  As stated by Paul Ryan in the Wall Street Journal 

    "Again the president has ducked responsibility, he has punted again, he has failed to take any notable action on this crisis."

    In other words, the President has completely ignored the tremendous debt caused by Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.  Additionally, Ryan knows the deficits and debt will slow economic growth.

    "All we're getting here is more spending, more borrowing and more debt that will lead to slower economic growth,"

    Sadly, this is the sorry state of America.  The crisis was produced by many years of Republican and Democrat manipulations and prevarications, and has  continued by the actions of our current politicians and President Obama.