“The time for austerity is not today,” White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew declared on the February 12 Meet the Press, providing an apt motto for President Barack Obama’s latest budget proposal, which foresees trillions of dollars in deficit spending, phony spending cuts, genuine tax hikes, and a refusal to address budget-busting entitlements. In other words, it’s a typical Washington budget proposal.
Obama claims that his $3.8 trillion budget is the first of many budgets that will eliminate $4 trillion in deficit spending over the next decade. Of course, as always, only the current year’s budget counts — and sometimes even it doesn’t matter; the Senate has failed to pass a budget for over 1,000 days, yet the government keeps plugging away — so any alleged deficit reduction beyond 2013 is meaningless.
In fact, given Obama’s track record on deficits, only the most naïve would believe that his rosy forecasts of stemming the flow of future red ink are likely to pan out. The President promised to cut the deficit in half during his first term; instead, his proposed fiscal 2013 deficit would be the fourth consecutive shortfall to top $1 trillion. Even his recent projections have proved faulty, as the Washington Post observes:
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