Is the President’s new “winning the future” slogan about America succeeding, or is it about his 2012 campaign hopes? President Obama’s FY2012 budget proposal makes it clear that he did indeed punt on making the difficult choices our country badly needs. He even failed to use the recommendations of his bipartisan deficit commission, instead deferring to some future bipartisan dialogue.
Mr. Bowles and Mr. Simpson laid a platter of solutions in front of the President. The President turned his back on his commission’s recommendations and chose instead to present a budget that offered none.
The number one threat to our country’s future is our staggering debt. Admiral Mike Mullen, the highest-ranking officer in the U.S. Armed Forces, has shared that troubling news on multiple occasions. It is not difficult to see why he made this assessment. Our national debt has surpassed 14 trillion dollars and continues to climb. Meanwhile, foreign countries like China are keeping our country afloat as the federal government borrows nearly 40 cents of every dollar it spends.
After three years of liberals’ record-setting deficits, Americans were expecting a serious strategy to get our country’s spending back on the right track. Unfortunately, instead of taking the reins, President Obama’s weak-kneed budget proposal adds more wind to the sails of a fiscal ship that is headed towards the rocks.
The President claims his $3.7 trillion proposal lives within its means, but at no point in the President’s 10-year projection would the U.S. government spend less than it is taking in. In fact, the amount of new debt proposed by the President’s budget is larger than the total amount of debt accumulated by the federal government from 1789 until January 20, 2009.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the very people who have run up our debt to record levels rely on rhetoric and gimmicks to mislead Americans into thinking they’re truly serious about restoring fiscal sanity. Just last year, the Democratic Majority in Congress abandoned the 2011 budget process. Not since the enactment of the 1974 Budget Act has the House failed to craft a budget resolution. To Washington liberals, discussing tough decisions would have hindered their prospects in November; it was much easier for them to ignore one of their most fundamental responsibilities.
The taxpayer savings made in the CR are proof positive that we must tackle entitlements; CR savings amount to only about two percent of the deficit spending problems we face. Our debt crisis is actually an entitlement crisis – Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid are plagued with trillions in unfunded liabilities and will eventually collapse under their own weight if they are left unreformed. Simply cutting discretionary spending will not suffice, a fact too often ignored by Members of both parties.
The future prosperity of our country depends upon bold leadership. Conservatives are leading the way by taking responsibility and confronting our nation’s tough challenges.
U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis is a member of the House Appropriations Committee