From James C. Capretta, "Econmic Polices for the 21st Century"
Obama's outgoing Director of the Office of Management and Budget, released the annual mid-year update to the administration’s budget projections at 3 pm last Friday afternoon in a conference call with reporters. That was a dead giveaway that the administration was hoping not to make much news with its latest budget projections, or at least not make news in a way that anyone would notice.
They weren’t entirely successful in burying the report, but it’s understandable why they tried. The numbers are off the chart. The budget deficit in 2010 is expected to set a record at $1.471 trillion -- or 10 percent of GDP. In 2011, the administration projects the deficit will again top $1.4 trillion. From 2010 to 2020, the Obama budget plan would run up a cumulative deficit of nearly $10 trillion, and the nation’s debt would reach $18.5 trillion in 2020, up from $5.8 trillion at the end of 2008.
Even more ominous is the economic forecast. It shows unemployment remaining at over 8 percent through the 2012 presidential re-election campaign, despite the assumption that relatively normal economic growth would have been underway for more than two years by then.
The biggest problems are out of control spending and the growth of the federal government. In 2008, total federal outlays were about $2.9 trillion. Obama wants to add $1 trillion to that total in 2011, or about a 33% expansion of governmental activity in just three years. And that’s just the beginning of it. By the end of the decade, federal outlays would reach $5.6 trillion, nearly double what they were a little more than a decade earlier, and that’s assuming a massive and speculative peace dividend after 2011 and cuts in domestic discretionary programs that the president has yet to identify. Of course, the baby boomers are also now entering their retirement , and will begin flooding into the Social Security and Medicare program in the next few years, pushing spending on those programs up even more rapidly than they have grown in the past. By 2030, there will be 71 million Americans age 65 and older, up from 41 million this year.
The president’s governing and budget strategy should now be evident to one and all. He has spent his first two years in office working to secure expansions in the scope and power of the federal government. Working with very sizeable Democratic majorities in both the House and the Senate, he passed an $800 billion-plus “stimulus” program, a massive health care entitlement covering tens of millions of new beneficiaries, a full federal takeover of the student loan industry, and sweeping new regulations for the financial sector. All of these initiatives have increased federal power and spending and have been financed with new tax and regulatory burdens on the private sector of the American economy.
Obamanomics: Tax and spend until the end. www.economics21.org