President Obama unveiled his proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts October 1. The first thing that strikes you is its enormity. It’s a $4 trillion budget. Are we bringing in $4 trillion? No, we’re bringing in about $3.5 trillion, which was the amount of his first budget. But I thought he was cutting the deficits, you ask. He is when compared to the huge deficits of his first five years. I often call it the rogue fireman syndrome. The rogue fireman sets your house on fire then comes back in the fire truck to put it out and calls himself a hero.
Let’s look at the facts. The deficit George W. Bush’s last year in office was around $458 billion. That was largely because of the bank and auto bailouts. Obama not only continued those bailouts but added the now-infamous “stimulus” spending. What it did was accelerate the debt. Now, keep in mind that Bush’s last deficit was $458 billion. Obama’s first deficit was $1.4 trillion. That’s a trillion more than what he inherited or three times the last Bush deficit.
And the stimulus was supposed to be a one-time thing, right? Obama made it an ongoing part of the budget, which meant that we not only ran a deficit his first year of $1.4 trillion but the next it was $1.3 trillion and the next $1.3 trillion and the next $1.1 trillion. When it hit $680 billion the fifth year he then claimed he had cut the deficit in more than half, which he had, but he didn't mention that he had tripled the deficit his first year in office.
Another way to put it in perspective is to look at this year’s projected deficit. It’s roughly $582 billion. That’s well over $100 billion more than George Bush’s last year in office when he was bailing out businesses left and right. We’re supposed to be in a recovery and we’re still spending like we’re trying to head off a recession.
Obama’s proposed budget for the fiscal year starting October 1 gives us a $474 billion deficit. These are the White House’s own figures. They estimate that by 2020 the annual deficit will be $554 billion. What this means is the amount we pay each year just on interest on the debt will triple. Some economists estimate that by 2030 we’ll be paying 40 percent of the money coming into the treasury just to service the debt. In other words, 40 percent of the money that could be spent on defense or social programs or whatever you like will, instead, go to pay the interest on the debt. And that’s just the interest. It doesn’t pay the debt down one dime. In fact, we’re looking at half-trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. That means that by 2020, in just 5 years, our debt will be over $20 trillion.
Let’s face it, there’s no way we pay back the money we owe now. At $18 trillion it would take us six years to pay it off if we used every cent that’s coming into the treasury in taxes. And, of course, not only are we not using any of the money coming in to pay off the debt, we’re hemorrhaging by about $500 billion a year.
And what does Obama propose? Tax the rich and the corporations and continue to spend money like there’s no tomorrow. At this rate there may be no tomorrow. If there is, it’s going to look considerably worse than today. And he, quite frankly, just doesn’t care.