To Space and Beyond!: The Obama Budget’s Debt Trajectory
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Let’s start with the bottom line. Obama proposes to spend $3.78 trillion dollars in FY2014, the highest level of spending ever. Cato Institute’s Chris Edwards calculates this against the budget that preceded Obama’s term in office, the FY2008 budget that was the last to get a signature from George W. Bush. Obama’s proposal increases spending by 27 percent over those six years and by 8 percent over the last normal-order budget for FY2010.
This increase comes despite Obama’s promises to introduce budget and deficit discipline, and in defiance of voters who want the federal government to reduce spending. It comes after the initiation of the budget sequester, which was supposed to lop off a mere $85 billion in spending each year for the next decade, which would have been just 2.3 percent of last year’s budget. Instead, this proposal would increase spending by $154 billion, almost twice what sequestration was supposed to save taxpayers.
So much for a multi-year approach to fiscal discipline! Obama’s budget bypasses the very sequester his White House demanded and got in 2011. AEI’s Jim Pethokoukis pointed out that Obama’s own budget office projected that the new budget proposal would lead to a balanced budget by … 2055. That assumes, of course, that whatever savings Obama claims to make in this budget will last 41 years longer than the sequester savings did.