Monday, March 23, 2009

Sticker Shock: Washington Dems Reeling After CBO Report Shows President's Budget Is $2.3 Trillion More Costly Than White House Claimed

Washington Democrats are still reeling after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported last Friday that the President’s budget is actually $2.3 TRILLION more costly than the White House initially claimed. Overall, the budget will produce an incredible $9.3 trillion in total deficits over the next 10 years – and who pays? Our children and grandchildren. Is it any wonder why Republicans have consistently been warning that this monstrous budget spends, taxes, and BORROWS too much? And Republicans are not alone. Economists, taxpayer watchdog groups, and newspapers across America have sounded the alarm on the Administration’s reckless budget path as well. Here’s what the Washington Post said about the President’s plan in an editorial published yesterday:

“Mr. Obama should treat the CBO report as an incentive to fulfill his repeated promises, during and after the campaign, to make hard choices on the budget. Until now he has offered a host of new spending – on health care, middle-class tax cuts, education and alternative energy – without calling for much sacrifice from anyone except the top 5 percent of the income scale. Though his emphasis on controlling health-care costs is welcome, it’s not a substitute for reforming the entitlement programs that are the drivers of long-term fiscal crisis, Medicare and Social Security. Yet the president has offered no plan for either and no road map even for achieving a plan. Several members of his own party in the Senate have been expressing doubts about his strategy, and the CBO report will lend credibility to their concerns. He should heed them.”

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) reacted similarly after the CBO rocked the Administration with its deficit report last Friday, saying, “This report should serve as the wake-up call this Administration needs. We simply cannot continue to mortgage our children and grandchildren’s future to pay for bigger and more costly government.”

Later today, the President will continue his campaign-like sales job of his budget when he will continue pressing for a massive national energy tax that’s at the heart of the proposal – a tax that will cost American families up to $3,100 per year. The Associated Press reports this morning that, “President Barack Obama’s aides say the administration will work with Congress on his budget proposal, but energy independence is not subject to wheeling and dealing.” In other words, the White House is prepared to fight for its energy tax hike.

Middle-class families and small businesses are struggling during this recession – their job security is diminished, their savings are evaporating, and their costs of living are soaring. Do they really deserve to be hit with higher energy bills – to the tune of up to $3,100 increase per year – thanks to the President’s budget?

Republicans don’t think so, and that’s why they will be offering a better budget solution in the days to come. In response to the President’s request last week for budget ideas from both parties, Boehner released a web video in which he outlined for the President the GOP principles for a better budget. The GOP budget alternative will:

- Help create and protect jobs by letting families and small businesses keep more of what they earn.

- Ensure the federal budget doesn’t grow faster than family budgets.

- Aim to expand access to affordable health care for every American, while preserving Social Security and Medicare for future generations.

- End the bailouts to protect taxpayers and reform the financial system so this crisis never repeats itself.

- Encourage an “all of the above” energy strategy that harnesses new technologies, encourages greater conservation and efficiency, and increases American energy production in an environmentally-safe manner – without imposing a national energy tax.

- Fight inflation so the prices of goods and services Americans depend on every day remain stable during and after this economic crisis.

As the House Budget Committee prepares to debate the President’s budget blueprint, it is clearer than ever that it spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much. House Republicans are prepared to offer a better way. Are Washington Democrats prepared to join them?

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