Economics

Obama and the Budget: A Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name

|

 The New York Post's Charles Hurt on "The New Era of Spend and Blame": 

After running a campaign against the $1 trillion deficit he "inherited" from President Bush and the Republicans, Obama quickly matched it. During his first 50 days in office, he and his Democratic-controlled Congress spent $1 billion an hour.

Under Obama's proposed budget, the overall national debt doubles in five years and triples in 10.

More here.

The Washington Examiner's Byron York on Obamanomics:

Barack Obama used to get very upset about federal budget deficits. Denouncing an "orgy of spending and enormous deficits," he turned to John McCain during their presidential debates last fall and said, "We have had, over the last eight years, the biggest increases in deficit spending and national debt in our history…Now we have a half-trillion deficit annually…and Sen. McCain voted for four out of five of those George Bush budgets."

That was then. Now, President Obama is asking lawmakers to vote for a budget with a deficit three times the size of the one that so disturbed candidate Obama just a few months ago. And Obama foresees, for years to come, deficits that dwarf those he felt so passionately about way, way back in 2008.

More here. Hat tip to both above: Charlie Spiering.

For a definitive account of Barack Obama's first proposed budget (for fiscal year 2010), check out Reason columnist and Mercatus Center economist Veronique de Rugy's working paper on the subject. It's stuffed with charts, tables, and graphs that underscore the enormity of Obama's spending, which represents at least a 19 percent increase over spending in FY2008.

Go here for that.

And go here for her Reason col on the subject. A snippet:

The budget "saves" hundreds of billions of dollars by not continuing to spend $170 billion a year in Iraq until 2019. Obama includes war spending in his baseline projections to be able to show a $1.49 trillion savings over 10 years. Yet even under the previous administration we were supposed to be out of Iraq by 2012. It's highly dissembling to say we can get savings by cutting spending that isn't actually going to occur.

The bottom line is that there is very little to be happy about in Obama's first budget. It simply expands the Bush policies of bigger government and increased centralization, which threatens to permanently transform America's culture and economic outlook by making more and more Americans dependent on government.

NEXT: Friday Funnies

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Is it wrong to sometimes hope for a fast collapse rather than a slow one?

  2. show a $1.49 billion savings over 10 years.

    That’s supposed to be trillion, right? Mere billions are insignificant when considering US budget numbers…

  3. The bottom line is that there is very little to be happy about in Obama’s first budget. It simply expands the Bush policies of bigger government and increased centralization, which threatens to permanently transform America’s culture and economic outlook by making more and more Americans dependent on government.

    Too true.

  4. The spin among my Obama-supporting colleagues is that that was then and this is now. “Bush screwed things up so bad, and the full extent wasn’t evident until Obama actually got into office, that these levels of spending are necessary to save the economy.” They are still working, apparently, on how to spin Obama’s calling today’s economy fundamentally sound vs. McCain and Bush saying that almost a year ago when it wasn’t so “evident” the economy was in a tail spin.

  5. Spoonman, at least a slow collapse gives people a bit more time with a bit more freedom.

  6. Yes, trillion with a “t.” Fixed.

  7. The thing is many spending bills passed under Bush were supported by the dems.Education,medicare,farm and highway bills ect.During this time ,Obama was in Congress,where spending bills come from.He didn’t inherit anything.He’s as much to blame as all the others.

  8. creech – so I have to put up with the left-wing yokel version of “This is all CLINTON’S fault” for the next four years?

    That oughta be rich.

  9. At this point I would take bigger government, more centralization, and more dependence on government if that was a the trade off I get for a balanced budget. ‘Cuz eventually a real dollar crash is gonna bite us in the ass.

    But, as usual, we get the worst of both worlds. Nice.

  10. The more you spend, the more you save earn!

    Jeepers, don’t you guys read Krugman?

  11. i keep looking at this budget the way one goes about grant writing. you figure out what you absolutely need and then double or triple that number fill the proposal full of fluff and ask for that knowing full well your best hope is to get half what you ask for. or you can look at it the way you deal with your fiance and wedding plans you suggest a whole bunch of junk you don’t really care about but will give you room to show compromise and get her to give up some of the truly painful stuff.

  12. I’ve read postings here, over and over again, telling us libertarian folk how fiscally responsible Democrats would be in power. It hasn’t been true for one instant since Congress changed hands.

  13. Dear Admin,
    I am looking for some good potential sites like yours for link exchange. I reviewed your
    site and found that, in SEO perspective your site is Perfect. Also, this would
    be a great resource for my visitors.
    I would request you to consider adding our website in your links.

    The site I would like to suggest for inclusion is..
    http://www.forexfreedownload.com

    Here is the detail of the site..
    Title : Forex Download
    Description : An automated forex trading software for all forex trading needs.
    Url: http://www.forexfreedownload.com

    Your links will be added here after your approval.
    http://forexfreedownload.com/forex-download.htm

    I assure you both of us would be equally benefitted by this linking method.

    Thank you very much for your time and support. I look forward to hear from you soon!

    Best Regards,
    Lucky
    luckyking05@gmail.com

  14. How any libertarians voted for this guy is beyond me. I hope those that did wish they could have their votes back.

  15. ?I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
    Take a bow for the new revolution
    Smile and grin at the change all around me
    Pick up my guitar and play
    Just like yesterday
    Then I’ll get on my knees and pray?

    Y’all know the rest.

  16. Hey Lucky! Go fuck your mother again.

  17. It was the prospect of having to argue against posts like this that drove Joe from this website.

    We were promised change, and we’re getting it, unfortunately.

  18. It was the prospect of having to either (a) admit he was wrong or (b) argue against posts like this that drove Joe from this website.

    Who ever could have foreseen that a lefty liberal would have proposed massive expansions of government and a 19% increase in spending his first year?

  19. Yes, just pretend you don’t know what Obama is really saying.

    We were spending too much on the wrong things before, now we need to spend more on the right things to catch up.

  20. How any libertarians voted for this guy is beyond me. I hope those that did wish they could have their votes back.

    Counter revolutionary thought is unproductive.

  21. R C Dean,

    You are too generous. There is still plenty of year to go.

  22. We were promised change, and we’re getting it, unfortunately.

    What’s hilarious is that even the socialists in Europe and around the world (you know, the ones that were supposed to fall in love with us again) are openly expressing deep concern about our new direction. You know it’s bad when the folks in Sweden are saying “what the hell are you guys doing?”

    I predict that the upcoming G20 summit is going to be a very unpleasant rude awakening for this greenhorn.

  23. joe worked much better as an opposition voice. Much like John now. Once his team is in control of both the Congress and presidency, his rhetoric becomes ineffective.

  24. We were spending too much on the wrong things before, now we need to spend more on the right things to catch up.

    I thought the stimulus was based on “we have to spend, period, to jump start the economy”. Oh, yea, even when they’re not thinking at all and just dumping out buckets of money, The Smart People are still the only ones qualified for the job.

  25. “joe worked much better as an opposition voice. Much like John now. Once his team is in control of both the Congress and presidency, his rhetoric becomes ineffective.”

    All politicians disapoint you. Once your side is in power, even if most of what they do is right, they still, because they are politicians and just can’t help it, leave you defending the indefensible.

  26. “Counter revolutionary thought is unproductive.”

    I’m outta here. Enjoy the clown show.

  27. “After running a campaign against the $1 trillion deficit he “inherited” from President Bush and the Republicans,…”

    Except, of course that he didn’t actually “inhereit” it all from them.

    Congress controls spending and the Democrats had been in control of Congress for the prior two years.

  28. John, as much as I normally disagree with you, that was perfectly stated.

  29. The people who really come off looking bad are not the liberals. They knew Obama was crazy and welcomed it. It is people like Christopher Buckley, David Brooks and Megan McCardle who are supposed to be small government conservatives and supported Obama that come off looking like complete clowns. I think Buckley’s statement about how he was voting for Obama because he was “erudite” and “was a Harvard man” and “had written books” will go down as one of the great pieces of upper class twitt rethoric in history. Yeah all the “smart set” convinced themselves Obama was anything but an unrepentant hard leftists because he was one of them and just had to be better than those icky Republicans. How is that working out for you?

  30. “Buckley’s statement about how he was voting for Obama because he was “erudite” and “was a Harvard man” and “had written books” will go down as one of the great pieces of upper class twitt rethoric in history”

    Buckley still Twitters? I love it!

  31. the great pieces of upper class twitt rethoric in history

    This is for you, John.

  32. To be fair, the Republicans put up a really bad candidate. McCain was no conservative either. His other domestic policy issues have been document ad nauseam. He was also tone deaf to the mood of the country regarding our bellicose foreign policy. For better or worse, Obama was much more of a blank slate. In the public and punditry’s eyes, he neatly played into a dichotomy against Bush’s personality and polices.

  33. Episiarch,

    These. . .are for you!

  34. Poopface McGee is right. McCain sucked as a candidate. He’s a crappy campaigner, he offered a bellicose foreign policy and his domestic policy proposals were … what’s the word for pulled out of his ass?

  35. “To be fair, the Republicans put up a really bad candidate. McCain was no conservative either. His other domestic policy issues have been document ad nauseam. He was also tone deaf to the mood of the country regarding our bellicose foreign policy. For better or worse, Obama was much more of a blank slate. In the public and punditry’s eyes, he neatly played into a dichotomy against Bush’s personality and polices.”

    No McCain was no conservative. But I think he would have probably dundered along for four years and not done much damage. He would have had a Democratic Congress to constrain his overseas ambitions. I can’t see how he would have handled Iraq or Afghanistan any different than BO is handling them. He certainly would not have done the stupid things like try to give the President of Russia a big red button, or go out of his way to insult the UK Prime Minister or overtly offer to sell out eastern Europe to the Russians in return for help with Iran.

    The longer this goes, the less the “but McCain would have been worse” rationalization hunts.

  36. The only way you can say that McCain would have been worse is to believe he was some kind of Jack T. Ripper character who planned to nuke China upon assumeing office. I think that is a bit of a reach.

  37. One other thing, who cares what kind of a “candidate” or “campaign” McCain ran. It is pretty callow to vote for someone based on what kind of campaign they run instead of what kind of President you think they will be. There was every reason to believe Obama would be exactly what he is, a complete incompetant amateur with a C- intellect and hard left ideology. Considering that, anything short of nuclear war would have been preferrable. Who cares what kind of candidate each of them were. If that matters so much, why not just vote for whoever has the biggest dick? It makes about as much sense.

  38. “If that matters so much, why not just vote for whoever has the biggest dick?”

    I suspect we did.

  39. “If that matters so much, why not just vote for whoever has the biggest dick?”

    I suspect we did.”

    No way. Michelle cut that thing way down to size years ago. I would imagine there isn’t much of it left and even that he only gets to borrow on occasion.

  40. I would guess what distresses some our more honest liberal brethren is the way Obama ran on nuance and pragmatism, but governs like a caricature of an envy driven, big spending liberal.

    It has likely occurred to them that the things they want, Universal Health Care, a more cohesive safety net, are being priced out of the realm of possibility by these Obama measures. If they turn on Obama, it is going to be ugly. Carter-Kennedy ugly.

  41. Even if he had some similarities with Bush, we would been better off with McCain simply because it was perfectly obvious that the Democrats were going to easily control Congress, and a divided government in this system is always preferable to a united government of fanatical true believers on either side.

  42. How dense are these libertarians who thought that Obama was anything but a spend, spend, spend progressive big government wannabe socialist? Pretty fucking dense. Their hatred for Bush (thus all republicans) fuzzied their brains, I think. I didn’t like the Bush administration, either, but for God’s sake, it didn’t take Einstein to see what Obama was all about. I’m embarrased for the author every time I read a piece like this from Reason. Nice job, Nick. I’ve got some ocean front property in Oklahoma you may be interested in. Call me.

    Oh, and seconding the comments on McCain. That was the best the repubs could put up? We were doomed from the beginning. The United States of America, how it was and how it was meant to be, was severely beaten during the prog’s rise to prominence in the early 1900’s. Teddy broght us the benevolent state. FDR beat her senselessly while she was down. LBJ kicked her in the gut some more. Carter, well Carter just was. Reagan tried, but even he grew government. Bush 1? Bah. Clinton? He was a pragmatic democrat. Much better than a pragmatic republican, I suppose. Bush 2? Nothing remotely conservative or classical liberal (speaking in terms of legal and fiscal issues) about the man. And now wannabe socialist Obama. We’re well and truly fucked.

  43. RFN, the congressional democrats grew government under Reagan. He was responsible for defense increases, but they increased non-defense spending at obscene levels.

    If you mean he is responsible because he didn’t have the military take the democratic members of congress out into the street and disembowel them, then I agree.

  44. It was obvious Obama was a retarded leftist, though even I (who thought he would be awful) am shocked at just how retarded he is.

    The fucker should resign and stick to Special Olympics bowling and let grown-ups take charge. Yes, that means taking Biden and Pelosi with him on his bowling trip.

  45. I agree wholeheartedly RFN. Any self-proclaimed small government libertarians out there who endorsed or voted for Obama simply because of Bush or Sarah Palin or whatever reason they came up with are fools, plain and simple.

    The handwriting was there on the wall plain to see for anyone who wasn’t willfully blind, and any complaints from those folks now don’t get a lot of sympathy from me.

  46. Obama’s a left extremist that wants big government, more taxes to fund his wet dream of unlimited government spending, and welfare for anything and everyone that plays the victim?

    Who’d have thought it?

    Good god.

  47. The new nuttery rankings:


    47) Irwin Schiff
    48) Troofers
    49) Flat Earthers
    50) Libertarians who voted for Obama

  48. You know you want me, you know you need me. Anyone else would be just a half assed solution now. I’ll be here tending the garden until I get your call. Tanned, Rested, and Ready.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.