No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

The Obama budget punt is bad, says…

by @ 9:09 on February 15, 2011. Filed under Budget Chop, Politics - National.

…a whole heap of the editorial board members on a wide cross-section of newspapers nationwide, both right-leaning and left-leaning. House Budget Committee communications director Conor Sweeney sent over the list this morning, and some of the commentary is extremely surprising:

  • The Washington Post editorial board – They noted that the Office of Budget and Management assumes a far-rosier rate of growth in the economy in the middle years than the Congressional Budget Office just a month ago, with a warning that if it’s closer to the 3.4% the CBO is assuming than the 3.9% the OMB assumes, that will blow a rather large hole in the revenue projections, much like the recession did for 2008 through the present. They also note the OMB used PlaceboCare math, assuming 10 years of revenues to offset 2 years of the Medicare “doc fix” and 3 years of the AMT fix. Their most-devastating words, however, are reserved for the end, when they call Obama out for punting on the lions’ share of the budget hole.
  • The USA Today editorial board – They pointed out that the $1.1 billion in “deficit savings” (note; that’s not exactly happening versus the CBO baseline) over the next decade is wiped out by just the $1.1 billion FY2012 budget deficit. The money quote – “It’s becoming hard not to conclude that Obama doesn’t much care about the debt threat or has decided to wait until after the 2012 elections. Either would be a shame, and economically risky.”
  • The Detroit News editorial board – They point out that not only does Obama have an open-ended committment on “high-speed” rail and a notion that he can socialize the private-sector economy, but that the third of his “deficit reduction” that is dependent on new taxes isn’t exactly going to bring in the full $1.6 billion in new taxes he thinks it will. The money quote – “Something more along the order of gastric bypass surgery is called for if the United States is to stabilize its fiscal health.”
  • The Chicago Tribune editorial board – They really hit on the complete lack of entitlement reform. The close, addressed to Congress:

    Here’s what they really need to do. They need to grab each other’s arms, hold each other up, tell the American people what it will really take to return the federal government to fiscal balance.

    And do it. Then they can — all together now — make a grand bipartisan shudder as the public screams. But they have to do it. They have to.

  • The Los Angeles Times editorial board – Even though they think that $1.5-$1.65 trillion of deficit spending is appropriate for FY2011, they think $1.1 trillion is far too high for 2012. Their close – “White House officials have said that the budget is just a down payment on more significant, bipartisan deficit-reduction efforts to come. But as the housing crisis showed, a down payment that’s too small can leave borrowers with a debt they cannot afford.”
  • The New York Times editorial board – Even though they like the budget, they slammed the lack of a long-term vision – “What Mr. Obama’s budget is most definitely not is a blueprint for dealing with the real long-term problems that feed the budget deficit: rising health care costs, an aging population and a refusal by lawmakers to face the inescapable need to raise taxes at some point.”
  • The Investor’s Business Daily editorial board – They were bright enough to use the scare quotes around “deficit cuts” (which, as I’ll point out again and again, are not cuts at all against “doing nothing”), and point out why Obama was “gutless” – he wants to blame the Republicans for the pain from the necessary hard work.
  • The Wall Street Journal editorial board – They point out that the White House-claimed “deficit reduction” happens only in the “out” years, with 95% happening after Obama’s first term is over and nearly 2/3rds happening after a potential second term. Like their upstart West Coast competitors, they see the real reason for the punting – to ambush the Republicans who will (hopefully) do the heavy lifting.

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