Posted tagged ‘national budget proposal’

Predictable Yet Surprising

February 27, 2009

Presidential candidate Barack Obama told the American people what he intended to do if elected President.  He was elected President by a very large margin.  Yesterday he announced a budget that contained all the major initiatives he had promised during his campaigning in an open and transparent submission.  Republicans howled and tripped over themselves to point out something wrong with Obama’s proposal.  But what else is new?

The budget proposal gains its credibility by including all know elements of spending and uses reasonable (and conservative) projection to predict the out years.  This methodology has been missing for the past 8 years.  The one major short coming of what Obama presented is that there is no projection for balancing the budget and of course, no projection on reducing the size of the national debt.

Arguably one could say that there is no reasonable way to know how that would be accomplished today.  When Bill Clinton generated surpluses, he did it with higher tax revenues in a robust economic period.  Obama’s team most likely decided to wait and see how quickly and strongly the economy recovers before taking any “high fives”.  There can be no doubt, however, that Obama’s economic team knows it will be impossible to run forever deficits and maintain a reasonable standard of living.  

Republican leaders are quite pregnant when they criticize the deficit and increase in the national debt.  Republicans not only presided over the doubling of the debt from 2000 to 2008 but can only show a failed foreign policy and the largest economic recession in 75 years for their efforts.  It is also clear that Republicans have not performed a “root cause analysis” on why they lost so many seats in Congress as well as the White House.  Republican leadership is dead against the programs proposed in Obama’s budget and act almost surprised to see these initiatives in financial terms.  Like the lemmings, they continue their rush to the cliff.

President Obama has said where he wants to take the nation.  He has now laid out a time line and cost.  This should have been predictable (from what Obama has promised) yet surprising (since Obama is a politician too).