Rhetorically speaking how can you not love President Barack Obama:
"The answers to our problems … exist in our laboratories and universities, in our fields and our factories, in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of the hardest-working people on Earth. Those qualities that have made America the greatest force of progress and prosperity in human history we still possess in ample measure." (PBO)
How can logic, and reason and good old common horse sense compete with all of these promises?
As my daughter watched the speech last night (and I twittered) she was so angry with me. She couldn't understand my skeptism. I had to call to her remembrance our trip to Arizona and New Mexico a few years ago. On this trip she was fascinated with the whole concept of Indians being placed on reservations and asked "Why don't they leave?". On these reservations the Indians get free health care, education, housing, food, etc. all from the government. Their lives didn't appear to be easy -- nope, no Utopia there. (Yeah, I know that wasn't the best example but I had to think quickly)
Here are Elements of A Responsible Budget Proposal complements of the Heritage Foundation:
Keep the “Stimulus” Temporary - The President should pledge to oppose any attempts to make permanent any stimulus provisions that are not fully offset by lower-priority spending cuts. This spending was sold to the American people as temporary, and that promise should be kept. Extending this spending would require permanently raising taxes by nearly $3,000 per household.
Resist False Promises of a Free Lunch - Some have suggested that Obama can expand Medicare drug subsidies for seniors as well as add millions of Americans to government health care rolls without increasing the health care budget. This is completely unrealistic. Such government expansions are totally unaffordable in today’s economic and budgetary climate.
Address Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid - These three programs already comprise 40 percent of all spending and are growing 7 percent annually on autopilot as 77 million baby boomers begin retiring. There is no way to bring the federal budget under control—or even close to balance—until these programs are reformed. To bring honesty back to Washington, President Obama should incorporate the massive long-term unfunded obligations of these programs into his budget and require Congress to focus on the long-term fiscal implications of their policies.
Support Spending Caps - In each of the past two years, Congress has passed budgets expanding discretionary spending by 8 percent. On top of that, they enacted $333 billion in “emergency” spending in 2008 and passed a $1.1 trillion “stimulus” this year. Clearly, the budget process created to help lawmakers set priorities and make trade-offs has collapsed. Enforceable spending caps can provide the structural rules necessary to make the difficult but necessary budget choices.
Avoid Harmful Tax Hikes - Higher tax rates discourage work, investment, saving, and entrepreneurial activity. Though Obama may propose that he will not raise taxes until 2011, the fact is the threat of these higher taxes is already depressing economic activity in the middle of the recession. Businesses are already foregoing investments in equipment anticipating Obama’s inevitable tax hikes. If all of the tax cuts enacted during the Bush Administration expire, families would see a tax increase of $2,000 per year on average and an additional loss of $1,800 per year due to slower economic growth. The average job growth for each congressional district would be reduced by over 2,000 jobs.The character traits Obama invoked last night - personal responsibility, hard work, sacrifice, entrepreneurial creativity, resiliency, decency, and fairness - are the key to our economic recovery, not massive new government intervention in the lives of Americans. Our government should be pursuing policies that free the American people to pursue their dreams, not suffocating the American people with new spending, taxes and government mandates.