Obama’s Three Years of Budget Failure

The mixture of arrogance and indifference to the law that has become the trademark of the Obama administration hit another mile marker yesterday. At a press conference, the president demanded that Congress raise the debt ceiling, because America is not “a deadbeat nation,” further characterizing the failure to do so as “irresponsible” and “absurd.” The White House should be quite familiar with both concepts: last Friday, the administration’s acting Budget Director, Jeff Zients, told House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) that it will miss the legal deadline for submitting a budget to Congress.

The White House’s disregard for its legal obligations is hardly an anomaly. “This will mark the third time in four years the president has missed his statutory requirement to present a budget on time, while trillion-dollar budget deficits continue to mount,” said Ryan. Nor is such irresponsible behavior limited to the White House. The Democratically controlled Senate has failed to pass a budget in more than three and a half years, taking several proposals enacted by the House and tabling them. The last time they adhered to their legal obligation was in 2009.

Missing the budget deadline is no accident. Last month, the White House told Politico that it had “deliberately slowed preparations for President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget” until it “had a better fix” on negotiations with Republicans regarding the fiscal cliff deal. Despite that reality, Obama had no qualms about taking Congress to task for its inability to reach a deal in a timely manner. “America wonders why it is in this town why you can’t get stuff done in an organized timetable,” said the president. “Why everything has to always wait until the last minute. We’re now at the last minute. The American people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy,” he added.

The American public is indeed low on patience. But that impatience pales in comparison to their general lack of knowledge regarding economics, and the subtleties of the fiscal cliff deal and the upcoming debt ceiling negotiations, in particular. Nothing epitomized that lack of knowledge better than the shock expressed by the legions of Obama’s supporters when they discovered that the tax increases they heartily supported when they thought it was all about making the “rich” pay “their fair share” included a bite out of their own paychecks. Somehow the president and his media enablers failed to mention that the expiration of the payroll tax holiday, raising the rates from 4.2 percent back up to 6.2 percent, was part of the equation.

That lack of understanding invariably works to the president’s advantage with respect to the debt ceiling debate. Thus, the president can once again chide Republicans in Congress with pithy phrases such as, “You don’t go out to dinner and eat all you want and then leave without paying the check,” or “I don’t think anyone would consider my position unreasonable. I’m not going to have a monthly conversation of whether we will pay our bills,” even as this administration can neither pay for its “dinner check” or its “monthly bills” without massive amounts of borrowing that now comprises a mind-bending 46 cents of every dollar spent in FY2013, which began October 1. In October and November alone, the government rang up another $292 billion in deficit spending–as in $4.8 billion of borrowed money per day.

Yet at the press conference, the president insisted that his administration has already cut more than $1 trillion in federal spending. He said the same thing in a December 30 appearance on NBCs “Meet the Press.” “Well, I have to tell you, David, if you look at my track record over the last two years, I cut spending by over a trillion dollars in 2011,” Obama told host David Gregory. That is a flat out lie. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) not only revealed that the federal government increased spending by $147 billion from FY2010 to FY2011, but added another $1.29 trillion to the national debt–which is the primary reason the nation has once again bumped up against the debt ceiling.

Even more remarkable than the president’s ability to lie without the slightest hesitation, is the mainstream media’s abject failure to call him on it. Whether this is an error of commission, as in a failure to obtain budget information that is readily available, or an error of omission, meaning they have the information and refuse to bring it up during a high-profile press conference, hardly matters. The public hears $1 trillion in cuts, and the contention is left unchallenged. Thus, Americans are forced to endure a media that is ignorant, collaborative or both.

As we get closer to the debt ceiling, nothing will change. Thus, when the president begins his opening round of debt ceiling “negotiations” by warning the public that Republicans “will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy,” no one is willing to explain that the only way the economy crashes is if the president orders it to happen. The NY Post’s Carolin Baum explains that the tax receipts government takes out of Americans’ paychecks each month far exceeds what the government owes in monthly interest payments. Furthermore, despite claims by the Treasury it has no authority to prioritize payments to holders of U.S. debt, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reached the following conclusion in 1985: “We are aware of no statute or any other basis for concluding that Treasury is required to pay outstanding obligations in the order in which they are presented for payment, unless it chooses to do so.”

In other words, the only way America could default is if Obama issues an executive order to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, mandating that America’s obligations must be paid in the order they are received, even if it crashes the economy in the process.

Yet that didn’t stop the president from characterizing 2011’s debt ceiling negotiations in precisely that manner. When CBS News’ Major Garrett noted that Obama voted against raising the debt ceiling as Senator, even as he is adamant about raising it now, absent “deficit reduction or budget maneuvers” that presidents Reagan, G.W. Bush and Clinton were willing to undertake, the president blamed “certain groups in Congress” for their “absolutist positions” that brought the nation “within a few days of defaulting.”

No it didn’t. It bought the nation within a few days of a likely government shutdown, during which serious choices would have to have been made regarding what the government could actually pay for, in addition to the interest on the debt. It is that conversation that the president, his party, and more than a few Republicans for that matter, are desperately trying to avoid.

Moreover, exactly as he did in 2011, the president is once again attempting to avoid that conversation by instilling fear in vulnerable and economically illiterate Americans, warning them that “Social Security benefits and veterans’ checks will be delayed” if the debt ceiling isn’t raised “quickly.” This is nothing less than Chicago-way thuggery designed to obscure the reality that the president could begin debt ceiling negotiations right now, even as he steadfastly refuses to do so.

The reason for such intransigence is simple. A combination of fearful Americans, a duplicitous media, and a Republican party with a track record of spinelessness will allow Obama to demagogue the issue without restraint. The purposeful failure to present an on-time budget is icing on the cake, in that it pushes any chance of negotiations closer to the deadline where the debt ceiling is raised, or the government shuts down–but does not default.

As of now, Republicans are talking the talk. “I do know that the most important issue confronting the future of our country is our deficit and debt,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY).  “So we are hoping for a new seriousness on the part of the president with regard to the single biggest issue confronting the country, and we look forward to working with him to do something about this huge, huge problem.” House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) concurs. “The American people do not support raising the debt ceiling without reducing government spending at the same time. … The House will do its job and pass responsible legislation that controls spending, meets our nation’s obligations, and keeps the government running, and we will insist that the Democratic majority in Washington do the same.”

It won’t happen. Only the Republicans have to have enormous courage to take on America’s insatiable addiction to spending. Democrats and the president can sit back, hold veterans and elderly Americans hostage, and wait for their media apparatchiks to pile on a “heartless” GOP.

“If we want to have a conversation about how to reduce our deficit, let’s have that. We’ve been having that for the last two years,” said the president at yesterday’s press conference. During those two years, America’s debt has increased by more than $2.1 trillion. By the time this president is finished talking in 2016, the national debt will top $20 trillion. At some point, talk of “cliffs” and “ceilings” will cease to matter. Only the word “abyss” will be relevant.

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  • pierce

    3The very first words in this article describe Barack Obama to a tee. He is a mixture of ARROGANCE and INDIFFERENCE, but perhaps ARROGANCE is more befitting, for he truly thinks his S does not smell.

  • kafir4life

    They don't call bo Stinky for nothing. Bo is the definition of Stink. When Stinks was on letterman a few weeks ago, and was asked if he helps his offspring with their homework, he admitted that he wasn't capable of doing math beyond the 6th grade level, or any other subject at the high school level. For once in Stinky's life, he told the truth. So when he talks about anything with numbers in it (or anything else), it's hard for him. Can anyone believe that people were stupid enough to vote for that thing…..TWICE???

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    IF the proposition is the destruction of the economy, then everything which is taking place makes complete fiscal sense.

    And since the Radical-in-Chief sets the tone on Capitol Hill, ramming through this and that without Congressional approval – fiat-like – it is imperative to think outside the box.

    Hence, this more than deserves an airing – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/12/27/dhs-americas-

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel – http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

    • AnOrdinaryMan

      Failure to pass a budget is breaking Federal law; thus there's got to be a way to remove Harry Reid from his position as Senate majority leader. And as to your comment that "Truth is stranger than fiction," I agree. Thus a recently viewed video; in which a Russian Communist party apparatchik explains to an American visitor, in 1992, that the U.S. will soon have a black President who will "transform your country," strengthens the idea that Obama may be a KGB agent plant, after all. When you stop and think about the immense harm that Obama has done, this isn't a far-fetched idea at all.

      • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

        Yes, it is no accident that a Chicago Senator, literally out of nowhere, makes it bigger than big in Washington, with ZERO credentials to speak of.

        He is where he is due to many helping hands – anti-American ones. And this is no conspiracy theory. Truth is stranger than fiction.

        Adina kutnicki, Israel

  • Asher

    This guy is the most lawless President in History. He does everything by deception, and control!

  • lizaz

    To me, the sad thing is that the liberals, in their IGNORANT BLISS (including those in the House and Senate), instinctively follow this WH like mindless lemmings to the sea. In the next four years we are certain we will see great damage done to our country and pray we will be able to repair ourselves after his time is done. We pray……..

  • Anonymous

    The MSM is going from complicit to corrupt. They are as corrupt as Obama. When Obama tells his lies, the media dutifully spread and repeat the lies. They are not gatekeepers of the truth — they are far closer to Kremlin-style lackeys.

  • JacksonPearson

    Obama is painted up and playing exactly like the mythical comic strip JOKER:
    "All you think about is money.
    This town needs a better class of criminal,
    and I'm going to give it to them."

  • http://twitter.com/jhaze32 @jhaze32

    It's unfortunate that the GOP is too pathetic to learn from their mistakes. Politics, like American society in general, is played out in the media, it's all about perception and public opinion. The people don't care about the details, they care about the big picture and how it affects them. The GOP needs to make their argument very clear and GET IT OUT THERE. Stop talking to each other. Talk to the people! If they're too dumb to understand it i your language, then explain it in their language! Make a cartoon and put it on youtube. Have kids talking about their future in a commercial. Get celebrities on board. It's too bad that this is what it has come to but if nothing is done it will only get worse.

  • κατεργάζομαι

    Re: "Obama’s Three Years of Budget Failure…."

    ~< NOT according to Saul Alinsky,
    ~< NOT according toThe Cloward–Piven Strategy, and……
    ~< NOT according to their muse; Karl Heinrich Marx.

    ~ ~ It IS according to their PLAN.

  • κατεργάζομαι

    Re: "Obama’s Three Years of Budget Failure…."

    RAND PAUL: 'Having a monarch is what we fought the American Revolution over'………


  • WilliamJamesWard

    American Government today is a giant dog and pony show that has the taxpayer on a
    not so merrygoround at high speed where they are loosing thier shirts, pants, shoes, socks
    and skin. When will there be marches on Washington by people who have had enough
    of the organized theft of our Nations wealth, right out of our paychecks, bank accounts
    and childrens future, when will enough be enough. Why wait until they are all in high
    priced resorts laughing at the American suckers, Obama is officiating over the biggest
    heist in the history of the world…………..Third party of Conservatives to clean house, make
    arrests and follow the stolen money trails………………….William