This week we are expected to (finally) receive Barack Obama's budget proposal for 2014. Two months past the deadline – after countless vacations and golf games, another just this weekend – we will finally see the president's vision for our country's future. You can tell a lot by a budget, including your priorities and your convictions.
There are a few things about this that we need to talk about: The budget itself, the Republican reaction and Obama's liberal policies in the context on today's focus on conservatism after the passing of former PM Margaret Thatcher.
The main sticking point about Obama's budget is that is calls for more tax increases. His insistence on tax increases shows that he seeks to punish the producers and does not understand the impact on taxes on an economy. The tax increases he is proposing will not, I repeat, will not shrink the size of our government and they will not lead to a balanced budget. Ever. They are in place in order to subsidize the growth of government.
But in discussions about Obama's budget, he would have you believe that he has already shrunk the amount of government spending. Countless times, Obama has claimed that he has already reduced the deficit by $2.5 trillion. He said it again in his Weekly Address to the nation over the weekend. This is a lie. How is it possible that Obama has overseen $1 trillion deficits each year of his administration and has added $6 trillion to our national debt and yet reduced the deficit by $2.5 trillion? Only in Washington does that math add up. The fact is that this $2.5 trillion claim is based on projected limits in government spending to take place over the next 10 years. Hardly cuts that have already taken place.
Also something you need to understand about Obama's budget to be released this Wednesday is that part of his tax increases affects private retirement accounts. He seeks to limit the amount of money you can put in IRAs. Why? Because this money is being saved (essentially) tax free and is used by many rich Americans. Obama considers it an injustice that he can't get his hands on more of that money, so he wants to cap the amount that you can keep in an IRA at $3 million. But here's the key: According to a senior administration official, the current rules allow wealthy individuals "to accumulate many millions of dollars in these accounts, substantially more than is needed to fund reasonable levels of retirement saving." The emphasis is mine. So now it seems as though the Obama administration is in the business of deciding what is considered a “reasonable level of retirement savings.” Shouldn't we, as free Americans, be able to decide for ourselves how much we need for our own retirements?
It seems as though some Republicans have realized the power of message discipline. Senate Republicans have already met to discuss a unified reaction to Obama's budget. They plan to press the fact that Obama's budget raises taxes, yet again. But their main goal is to pin Obama's budget, which grows the size of government, against his (in)ability to grow our economy. According to a Republican aide, “They plan to press on whether the budget will create jobs, spur economic growth or increase take-home pay for average working Americans.” They will also continue to push the point that Obama's budget doesn't balance. Let's hope that Republicans in the House also unify in their response to Obama's budget. But the Obama White House is already ready for Republican opposition, preemptively labeling it over the weekend as a “my way or the highway” approach to budget negotiations.