Since President Barack Obama was sworn into office total entitlement spending has grown 4%, total discretionary has soared 16%, and the national debt has exploded 43%. Over that same time the United States economy has lost 3.3 million jobs. President Obama cannot be blamed for the most recent recession, but he certainly can be held accountable for the failure of his deficit spending policies in response.
Today’s FY 2012 budget released by the President doubles down on this failed record. The White House is trying to portray this document as a spending cut. Specifically, they claim the President’s budget reduces 2012 discretionary spending by 5 percent. But as Heritage Foundation’s J.D. Foster details, these “cuts” are only made possible by three gimmicks:
- Redefining Pell grants as mandatory spending. Stripped of this gimmick, discretionary spending jumps by $14 billion in 2012.
- Reclassifying $54 billion of surface transportation spending from discretionary spending to mandatory spending.
- Spending the peace dividend. The budget proposal includes spending for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, referred to as “overseas contingency operations,” as discretionary spending and reduces funding for these operations by $38.2 billion in 2012.
Foster notes: “Reversing these budget tricks lifts 2012 discretionary spending by $106.2 billion for an overall $31 billion increase in discretionary spending.” These fake spending cuts will end up in real debt for your children. President Obama’s budget would grow spending, even after inflation, by 30% over the next 10 years. All told, publicly held debt would rise from $9.5 trillion in the current year to $16.7 trillion by 2021.