The President's Brain is Missing! (When it Comes to the Budget)

Over at AOL News, John Merline asks the obvious question in light of President Obama's proposed 2012 budget, which looks to spend a total of 3.7 trillion smackers: Wha happened?

President Barack Obama's 2012 budget proposes to spend $3.48 trillion on everything except interest on the national debt. That's a 7 percent increase over what the government spent in 2010. And keep in mind that in 2010, there was a lot of stimulus money flying out the door....

The next time you hear howls of anguish over deep, tough, painful cuts in the federal budget, you might want to ask yourself how you'd feel if you had 7 percent more to spend next year than you did last year.

More here.

Here's a chart worth hanging on to:

Keep in mind that since 1950, total federal revenue averaged just shy of 18 percent of GDP, so it's not hard to understand why we're screwed.

Is there any hope for this scenario? Well, you know what, there is. Fresh from the latest issue of Reason is an article by Veronique de Rugy and me called "The 19 Percent Solution: How to balance the budget without increasing taxes," and it lays out how to bring sanity to the federal budget over the next decade. Please take a look and send around as you see fit.

Bad headline pun explained here.

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  • Achtung Baby||

    But Nick, if you cut spending, it means death to cancer patients and the end of scientific discovery.

    Oh, and happy Day after Valentine's Day to all of you who didn't get laid yesterday!

  • ||

    His plan is to propose something that is completely insane and unworkable and make the Republicans in Congress do something reasonable. He can then campaign against the Republicans and solidify his base while at the same time benefiting from a reasonable budget policy that they "forced" on him.

  • Barack Obama||

    (smiles sheepishly)

  • MNG||

    Yeah John, keep waiting for the "With common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops" GOP to "do something reasonable" on the budget....

  • ||

    As bad as they are, MNG, isn't it time to admit that President Obama is even worse? Land of the blind, one-eyed men and all that.

  • ||

    Even Andrew Sullivan has lost his man crush on Obama. Yesterday he took time out from investigating Sarah Palin's vagina to write this

    In this budget, in his refusal to do anything concrete to tackle the looming entitlement debt, in his failure to address the generational injustice, in his blithe indifference to the increasing danger of default, he has betrayed those of us who took him to be a serious president prepared to put the good of the country before his short term political interests. . . . On the critical issue of America’s fiscal crisis, he represents no hope and no change. Just the same old Washington politics he once promised to end.”

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlan.....r-own.html

  • ||

    WHITEHOUSE SECRET MEMO:
    Whitehouse Wonk History Lesson:
    -Back in 1995, Republicans demand budget cuts
    -President proposes timid small cuts
    -Republicans balk
    -White House maneuvers Republicans into 'shutting down Government'
    -Newt Gingrich marches into this trap like Custer at LBH
    -Democrats and Clinton laughing for next five years
    White House Wonk Strategy:
    -Republicans are Conservatives
    -Conservatives are stupid (otherwise they would be Liberal)
    -This will work again
    Will E. Chai-Otee -- Cheif White House Political Strategist

  • Mike M.||

    Here's the big difference between today and 1995 though: in 1995 America wasn't running $1.5 trillion annual deficits and major countries around the world weren't having serious discussions about ending the U.S. dollar's status as the preferred international currency.

    The closer we get to insolvency and collapse, the less effective I think the tired pathetic old liberal playbook is going to be when it comes to the insane government budgets. This may be their last hurrah; we'll find out pretty soon for sure.

  • MNG||

    With so many safety net programs on the chopping block it's just amazing to see Obama proposing new spending programs like high speed rail. That alone should draw a primary challenge.

    As I said yesterday it is very sad to see Obama not even try to offer a vision of limited governmnet that liberals could embrace such as deeper cuts in the military, means testing of certain programs and corporate welfare.

  • Hmm||

    Because he doesn't need liberals to get elected. He needs independents. And the only thing he cares about is where his head hits the pillow in 2012.

  • MNG||

    Well my idea is that he could sell such cuts to his liberal base by noting how it actually furthers liberal goals (and by cutting government spending!) and sell it to independents by just noting it involves cutting spending (especially the means testing, he could note that he, unlike the GOP, is working on the entitlement problem).

  • Sovereign Immunity||

    You mean like how all that stimulus was supposed to shovel ready jobs, by merely noting how many were "saved or created?"

    And stop calling yourself a liberal: you are a progressive, you disingenuous hack!

  • MNG||

    What a nonsensical response. Did you even read my post before angrily responding? Are you some randonmly generated conservative-bot, or is this just Suki-John?

  • Sovereign Immunity||

    Not a bot MNG. Just calling out drivel when the premise is presented in a disingenuous manner.

    Particularly "selling" cuts when the baseline has already been increased.

    It's the old hokum of redefining a new norm and decreasing the rate in spending and calling it a cut.

    I would like to see cuts all across the board with no oxen gored. No prima donnas.

  • Hmm||

    He doesn't have to sell liberals. He had to sell independents. And he isn't going to do that with entitlement cuts or Defense cuts. He's just like every other politician. He wants to get elected no matter what.

  • Hmm||

    He doesn't have to sell liberals. He had to sell independents. And he isn't going to do that with entitlement cuts or Defense cuts. He's just like every other politician. He wants to get elected no matter what.

  • Yusuf Islam||

    try to offer a vision of limited governmnet(sic) that liberals could embrace

    Because "liberal" and "limited government" are mutual exclusive, "liberal" meaning progressive, that is.

    Stop calling yourself a liberal; you're fooling no one.

  • MNG||

    I don't think that they are mutually exclusive, liberals have long wanted to see a smaller defense budget and hits on corporate welfare, and I think properly explained they would support certain means testing on entitlements.

  • Hmm||

    Show me a liberal today that wants GE to take a tax hit. I will eat my shoes.

  • Hmm||

    I know that's hyperbolic and sweeping in scope. But the green bullshit had been pushed so far and GE had played it like a rent seeking golden fiddle.

  • ||

    I think properly explained they would support certain means testing on entitlements.

    If you believe this, then you must blame President Obama even more. After all, if liberals wouldn't support it no matter what, then his hand is forced by politics. OTOH, if "properly explained" they would support it-- and who better to properly explain it than the popular first African-American president who were told is a great orator-- then President Obama's refusal to attempt to explain it is damning.

  • ||

    With so many safety net programs on the chopping block it's just amazing to see Obama proposing new spending programs like high speed rail. That alone should draw a primary challenge.

    Primary challenge? From whom? There's no constituency in the Democratic Party that is pro-welfare and anti-high speed rail. There are liberal Democrats who are pro more spending on welfare and high speed rail. There are moderate and conservative Democrats who are against more welfare spending but pro-high speed rail. But there are practically no Democrats who are pro-welfare spending but anti-high speed rail.

    The Democrats who are big on the safety net all believe that if we just spend more, that will fix anything.

    Pro-safety net but anti-infrastructure spending puts you with bleeding heart libertarians, or with Sen. McCain's alternative stimulus package (that had just as much extra unemployment benefits and tax cuts, but none of the infrastructure spending.) You wanted that, MNG, you voted for the wrong guy.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    As I said yesterday it is very sad to see Obama not even try to offer a vision of limited governmnet that liberals could embrace such as deeper cuts in the military, means testing of certain programs and corporate welfare.


    But that's only because Obama is not Ron Paul.

  • Hmm||

    Fuckin' math, how does it work?

    Seriously, what did people expect. We've been getting fed shot and told it's caviar for decades now. Why would that Change and Hope.

  • Hmm||

    Just like the conservatives and Bush stupid fuckin' liberals will vote for him no matter what he does.

  • Hmm||

    Fuck... That was for MNG @8:45

  • MNG||

    I think it depends on who is nominated against them in part. If you nominate a noted liberal senator from Mass. against Bush then even many dissaffected conservatives are going to hold their nose and pull the lever. Likewise if you nominate Palin, Romney or Huckabee you will get the same. It's indeed sad, I saw it with Clinton and Gingrich.

  • ||

    White Liberals are going to torpedo the first black president? Good luck with that.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    White Liberals are going to torpedo the first black president? Good luck with that.

    No kidding. Those dumb SWPLs voted for him precisely because he's black. Their sense of self-regard is intimately tied to the psychological to pat themselves on the back for supposedly being more "enlightened" than the bible-banging cousin-humpers outside the cities.

    They're permanently hitched to Obama, no matter what he does. Point out that he's basically running Bush's third term, and you get a lot of sputtering and denials. They are literally mentally incapable of advocating for anything outside their sociopathic tribalist instincts.

  • Hmm||

    The liberal base won't defect. Not this early after Bush. The conservatives are moving away from social conservatism very slowly as the evangelical religious right loses a little power. It's not significant in a general election, but I thin it is in a primary.

  • ||

    Huckabee actually will pull in a lot of people who normally vote for Democrats, he'll just equally turn off a lot of people who normally vote for Republicans.

  • GILMORE||

    I thought the headline was a reference to how Washington 'lost' president Kennedy's brain, post assassination.

    Works either way, i guess.

  • ||

    Fuck you, George W Bush- wherever you are.

  • Tonio||

    This budget proposal is a masterpiece of homeopathic thought -- dilute until it has no effect.

  • Sovereign Immunity||

    More like leech therapy.

  • ||

    The pitifully obvious trap Obama is trying to set for the Republicans is easily turned around.

    The Republican House should put Obama's budget up for a vote, tomorrow. Up or down on the whole thing.

    When it goes down, tell him to draft another one.

    Rinse and repeat.

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