Despite its euphemistic title, “A New Era of Responsibility,” President Barack Obama's 2010 federal budget proposal, developed by Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Harry Reid, is far from responsible.
America’s Dead Weight
By 2012, if the budget is adopted as proposed, the amount of debt carried by the public would be more than $11 trillion. The debt load carried by the public in 2008 was about half that -- $5.8 trillion. The Democrats can say whatever they want about the deficit they inherited from President George W. Bush; by the time Obama is finished his first term in office, the debt burden on the American public would be double
what it was under president Bush.
According to estimates put together by the Congressional Budget Office, revenues for 2009 are expected to be $2.16 trillion while estimated outlays are expected to be just over $4 trillion, creating a deficit of approximately $1.8 trillion. Compare this to 2008, when revenues were higher -- $2.5 trillion -- and spending was lower -- $2.98 trillion. At $459 billion, the deficit was nothing to be proud of, but it wasn't completely unmanageable.
Discretionary Spending vs. Off-Budget Revenue
The main culprit in the Democrats new mess is the difference between off-budget revenue and discretionary spending. In most years the on-budget revenues are slightly higher than the mandatory budgetary outlays. This year is no different.
The trend in recent years is for discretionary spending to be higher than off-budget revenues. For example, in 2008, on-budget revenue was $1.86 trillion, while mandatory spending was just under $1.6 trillion. Meanwhile, off-budget revenue was $658 billion as opposed to discretionary spending, which was $1.135 trillion. In 2009, however, off-budget revenue is expected to be approximately $653 billion (less than last year) while discretionary spending is up more than $100 billion
to $1.246 trillion. The total deficit for 2009 is expected to be $1.845 trillion..
CBO's Projected Outlook
According to the CBO, if this trend continues, and the difference between off-budget revenue and discretionary spending continues to widen, the running budget deficit would reach more than $9 trillion by 2019. Between 2010 and 2019 the CBO predicts off-budget revenue totals would be $8.2 trillion while discretionary spending totals would reach a whopping $13.4 trillion. And if the debt load continues to grow at the rate proposed by Obama and Congressional Democrats, Americans will be carrying a total of $17.3 trillion of debt by 2019.
The Frightening Bottom Line
The numbers are dizzying, and confusing, but if you remember nothing else, know this: if Obama and Congressional Democrats continue to manage the budget the way they have this year, by 2012, American's debt load will be more than $11 trillion; by 2016, it will be more than $14 trillion; and by 2019, it will be more than $17 trillion
Go inside the CBO numbers
President Obama’s War
Clearly, discretionary spending is a killer. According to About.com’s Economy guide, Kimberly Amadeo, discretionary spending
is also the one part of the budget that’s optional
. Mandatory spending is necessary to maintain the nation's entitlement programs, but Obama's promised "change" deals with this part of the budget. It accounts for things like defense spending, education, transportation and health and human services allocations.
For all his criticism about the money President Bush spent on the "failed" war in Iraq, when the stimulus money is factored into the mix, Obama has spent more money in less than 100 days than Bush spent on the entire Iraq invasion ... even when the latter is adjusted for inflation. (According to the Commonwealth Foundation, the Iraq invasion cost $592 billion in today's dollars -- the stimulus package alone
accounts for $787 billion).