Senators Slam Obama Budget: 'Sleight Of Hand,' 'Washington Gimmicks And Accounting Tricks'

Craig Bannister | February 13, 2012 | 3:09pm EST
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Republican Senate leaders slammed Pres. Obama's budget in statements released today (Updates To Come; Emphasis added):

'President Is Recklessly Breaking His Promise'

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

“The President’s budget is not serious and is just another disappointment from this White House. This budget is business as usual: more spending, higher debt, a refusal to save our entitlement programs from future bankruptcy and a slew of massive tax increases on the very job creators who we need to put Americans back to work.  The President is recklessly breaking his promise to cut the deficit in half during his first term, adding an unsustainable amount of debt for future generations.

“The President’s budget is clear evidence of the White House’s strategy to pit Americans against each other for electoral gain, not to help grow the economy. The American people won’t buy what the President’s selling, basically that the reason some aren’t doing well is because other people are doing too well. The reality is that his anti-growth economic agenda of the last three and half years, illustrated by his latest budget, has made a bad situation far worse.

‘Fiscal Sleight Of Hand'

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

When the gimmicks are removed, spending even rises $1.5 trillion above current projections—$47 trillion in total. Annual spending will rise by 62 percent between 2011 and 2022. There are no real reforms and the new taxes are used to fund more wasteful Washington spending. So even with almost $2 trillion in job-crushing tax hikes, the president remains incapable of reducing the deficit—he just can’t resist the temptation to spend the money.

Fiscal sleight-of-hand accounts for $3.7 trillion of the president’s deficit reduction, leaving the debt in the president’s plan largely unchanged from what would be expected to occur under current spending law and tax policies ($11.2 trillion rather than $11.5 trillion). Even worse, the president’s proposed switch from current law spending reduction to even higher taxes contributes to a 62 percent increase in spending between 2011 and 2022. Once the gimmicks are taken away, the president’s budget becomes another enormous tax-and-spend plan that ignores the drivers of our debt and is alarmingly inadequate for the undisputed fiscal realities of a growing debt and aging population.

‘It’s A Campaign Document,’ Not A Budget

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

“This proposal isn’t really a budget at all. It’s a campaign document. This was a real opportunity for the President to get serious about the fiscal situation we face in the Obama economy, but once again, the President is shirking his responsibility to lead and using this budget to divide. The plan is obvious: Rather than reach out to members of Congress on a consensus budget, the President will take this budget on the road, as he is today, and talk about the parts he thinks audiences will like. What he won’t say is that it’s bad for job creation, bad for seniors, and that it will make the economy worse.”

‘Washington Gimmicks and Accounting Tricks’

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.)

“In an effort to win re-election, President Obama’s budget uses Washington gimmicks and accounting tricks to simultaneously spend more money on items important to his base while falsely claiming to reduce spending,” said Inhofe. “He is trying to fund yet another failed stimulus, and it is simply irresponsible.  Under this President, we have now had four budgets with yearly deficits over $1 trillion each.  This budget continues Washington’s disastrous trend of spending money we don’t have.  He claims this budget has $4 trillion in deficit reductions.  In reality, he is proposing $8 trillion in more deficits and $11 trillion more added to the debt.  He increases spending on his liberal leaning agenda items on the backs of dangerous defense cuts.

“Once again, because of his failure to provide leadership, the President is turning a blind eye to fiscal crisis that is facing this nation.  To further help pay for his big-government spending, the President is proposing $1.9 trillion in new taxes on families, small businesses and job creators – including those in the energy industry.   These industry specific tax increases will simply be passed on to families in the form of higher costs.

The best thing the President could do to help our economy, spur job creation, and assist those struggling to make ends meet would be to provide certainty by cutting government spending, reducing the tax burden, and ending over-regulation.  Instead, President Obama offers more of the same:  too much spending, too much borrowing, and too much taxation.”

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