President Barack Obama’s $3.8 trillion budget request for fiscal year 2013 breaks his promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term and worsens the fiscal crisis, key Republican lawmakers said Monday.
“His plan for America is throwing in the towel,” Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, told reporters in a conference call after Obama announced his new plan. “The president has punted again; he’s failed to take any credible action.”
“This is not a fiscal plan to save America … it’s a political plan for the president’s reelection,” Ryan said.
Republicans called the budget a campaign document that increases the debt by another $1 trillion without a plan to reduce the $15 trillion deficit.
“This budget is exceedingly deceptive and goes beyond anything I’ve ever seen before,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee said during the conference call.
Obama’s budget promises billions of dollars in new stimulus spending, unprecedented levels of spending and new tax hikes.
Obama wants nearly $2 trillion in new taxes, including $1.4 trillion in income taxes, $143 billion in additional inheritances or “death taxes,” and $340 billion in other tax revenue.
“We built this budget around the idea that our country has always done best when everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules,” Obama said in his budget.
“It rejects the ‘you’re on your own’ economics that have led to a widening gap between the richest and poorest Americans that undermines both our belief in equal opportunity and the engine of our economic growth. And countries with less inequality tend to have stronger and steadier economic growth over the long run,” Obama said.
According to an analysis released by the House and Senate Budget Committees, the president’s deficit reduction claims take credit for $2 trillion in savings already committed to under previous law and another $1 trillion in savings that was never even requested for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The budget panels said the plan would allow Social Security to go bankrupt because it failed to address reforms, and also imposes a 23 percent across-the-board cut on seniors.
“The president’s budget is a gloomy reflection of his failed policies of the past, not a bold plan for America’s future. It is bad for job creation, our economy, and America’s seniors,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
Speaking on the Senate floor, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the president’s budget is “what a failure of leadership looks like.”
“The truth is Democrats want to have it both ways. The president wants to be able to take his budget around the country to talk about the parts of it he thinks people will like. And Democrats in Congress want to be able to avoid a vote on it because it’s so damaging for job creation, seniors and the economy,” McConnell said.
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) cited certain spending priorities as election year politicking by the White House, including $522 million for renewable energy programs, $45 billion to extend unemployment, $35 billion to create a universal dislocated workers program and $13 billion for a “pathways back to work” fund.
Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) said that upon reviewing the budget, he found it hard to believe Obama is taking his fiscal duty seriously.
“I sincerely wish the president would put new batteries in his calculator and realize that increased spending and stimulus will not lower our debt and deficit, nor will a faulty and mathematically unrealistic ‘Buffett Rule,’” Schweikert said.