President Obama made a pledge to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. Instead it exceeded a trillion dollars for four straight years.

Indeed, the president could not even make a pledge made in September to reduce the deficit to $956 billion. Finally, just to keep the deficit at $1.33 Trillion, look at the tax hikes Obama proposes.

Details below summarized from the Bloomberg article Obama Sends $3.8T Budget to Congress

Obama Proposed Tax Hikes

  • Expiration of Bush-era tax cuts for couples earning $250,000 or more a year
  • Limiting the value of itemized deductions to 28 percent couples earning $250,000 or more a year
  • Imposing a minimum tax for individuals with annual incomes of at least $1 million
  • Raise taxes on dividends received by the wealthy to 39.6 percent from the current 15 percent
  • $61 billion “Financial Responsibility Fee” imposed on banks
  • Increase in the terrorism-security fee charged to airline passengers

It takes all that just to hold the deficit to $1.33 Trillion. Chance of passage would appear to be about zero percent.

Republicans Miss Golden Opportunities on “Hard Choices”

To be fair, the budget mess is not entirely Obama’s fault. Warmongers from both parties refuse to make serious cuts in the defense budget.

Moreover, President Obama said that he was willing to make “hard choices“.

Republicans missed a golden opportunity to put Obama to the test with a plan to accept some tax hikes in return for scrapping Davis Bacon prevailing wage laws and ending collective bargaining for public unions.

One of the best things that could possibly happen for the nation would be to get rid of union collective bargaining  and initiate national Right-to-Work laws.

Would the president have gone along? Probably not. But either way it would have been a win-win for Republicans. They would have shown willingness to compromise by making such an offer.

Republicans failed to put the president to the task. No one made any hard choices, not the president, not Democrats, and not Republicans.

More Misguided Stimulus

Obama proposes blowing a $476 billion in stimulus proposals to create construction jobs, another $121 billion on clean-energy vehicles, and  another $350 billion in short-term jobs measures.

Unless something is done to rein in costs (hint: pass national right-to work laws, scrap collective bargaining of public unions, end Davis-Bacon and prevailing wage laws) taxpayers will overpay for services rendered (assuming the services rendered are needed at all, as opposed to makeshift work)

Freeze On War-Mongering

When it comes to war-mongering, the best the president can do is freeze the budget at $525 billion.

Proving that he is on Mars, Republican Representative Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, said on ABC‘s “This Week” that Obama’s proposal “hollows out” spending for defense and national security.

How holding spending flat at $525 billion while winding down operations in Iraq and Afghanistan “hollows out” defense spending certainly needs to be explained.

No Chance of Senate Passage

This is a pathetic attempt by the president, and it has no reasonable chance of passage in the Senate.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said “no,” when asked on CBS’s “Face the Nation” yesterday if Obama’s budget had any chance of passage in that chamber.

“Race to the Bottom”

Obama wants toss another $69.8 billion at a misnamed “Race to the Top” education program.

I propose something vastly different. For details, please see “Student Loan ‘Debt Bomb”; Obama’s Misguided Proposal and Mish’s Two-Point Alternative Proposal

Dysfunctional President, Congress

As noted in Obama Seeks to Prove He is More Like Romney; Obama vs. Romney – What’s the Difference? don’t expect Mitt Romney to be much if any better than the president. Both parties are dysfunctional and the nation rots in the wake.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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