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Hey, Obama: How About Tackling Obesity in the Federal Budget?

Posted on February 17 2011 8:00 am
Scott Spiegel blogs at He can be reached at

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Call Monday’s 2012 budget release the St. Valentine’s Day Non-massacre.

President Obama’s budget director Jacob Lew announced on Monday that he was presenting Congress with a budget that would compel the nation to “live within our means, but also invest in the future.”

Can we leave out the “but also invest in the future” part?

Why does Obama always append damaging clauses to seemingly responsible proposals? Is it so that when he fails to do what he should—have us live within our means—and merely does what he wants—spend, spend, spend—he can say he at least kept half his promise?

In a press conference defending his proposal, Obama scolded Republicans about the need to have an “adult conversation” with him on the budget and stop being “impatient” about his failure to deal with entitlement reform.

Obama is enormously proud of the fact that he has pledged to freeze domestic spending for the next five years. Since that means freezing spending at 2010 levels, which were 22% higher than bloated 2008 levels, Obama has done the equivalent of freezing the national diet at Michael Moore’s instead of Alec Baldwin’s.

Even Obama’s spending freeze applies only to non-defense discretionary spending, which makes up just 15% of the federal budget. His proposal does nothing to address reform of Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security.

Everyone knew that the bipartisan deficit reduction commission Obama sanctioned last year to “study” the federal debt and make recommendations was window dressing. Obama never had any intention of following suggestions that were unpalatable for his base, such as raising the retirement age for Social Security or means-testing Medicare.

But the $3.73 trillion 2012 budget, and projected $1.65 trillion 2011 deficit, Obama unveiled on Monday set staggering, all-time records that shocked even his supporters.

Obama’s 2012 budget will cause our federal debt to jump from $14.2 trillion to $15.5 trillion, which will render the federal debt greater than the size of the entire U.S. economy for the first time in history.

By 2013, the federal debt will equal 106% of the U.S. economy. That rosy scenario, by the way, will happen only if the next two years see the economy roaring back to life and demonstrating much higher growth than in recent years—which the Obama administration, with complete, non-self-serving objectivity, is absolutely certain will happen.

By 2016 the federal debt will swell to $21 trillion.

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