President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budgetby Representative Doug Collins
Posted on 2015-02-12
COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I would like to start off with a
positive note. Just recently, President Obama submitted the Federal
budget on time for the first time since 2010. While I appreciate his
timeliness, I, and the constituents in my district, don't appreciate,
however, his disregard for fiscal responsibility.
The President sent a budget to Congress which starts the fiscal year with our country in the red. What organization starts off the fiscal year by saying they are going to purposefully spend more money than they take in? How many folks around a dinner table actually have their conversation at the start of the year saying, ``You know what? I want to start the year broke and I want to end broke.'' That is what the President's budget does.
The President presented to Congress a $4 trillion budget, and yes, you heard me right, that is trillion with a T. The proposed budget requests $4 trillion in spending but only provides--catch this--$3.5 trillion in revenue. I was not the best math student but I can see a problem here. That leaves the government with a half-trillion-dollar deficit.
Wait. Hold on a second. Let me go back and correct myself. I misspoke. That leaves the U.S. taxpayers with a half-trillion-dollar deficit because, let me remind you, the government makes nothing. Everything we spend comes from right here in my pocket, your pocket, and the pocket of everyone else in this country.
Now, I just checked, and the population of the United States is slightly over 320 million. So every man, woman, and child would have to add an additional $1,500 onto what they already owe in taxes--to include newborns--in order for this budget to even break even. And that is just for 2016.
The President's budget is a political document that reflects a very different view of fiscal responsibility than most people have.
Let's go through it and discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of this budget.
First, the good. Now it is true that our national deficit is shrinking. Is it because of the President's policies? No. It is because of the ingenuity and determination of the American people. The private sector is now growing--and has been for a while--even as the administration has attempted to stifle businesses with antigrowth policies like ObamaCare and other regulations that continue to put sand in the gears of American business.
Even in the President's own budget document he cites economic growth as helping accelerate the pace of deficit reduction. He likes to go around the Nation and do speeches on how the deficit has decreased to its lowest level in decades during his Presidency. The inconvenient truth is that he decides to leave out that the biggest drops occur after 2010, when the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives.
The Republicans were able to garner concessions on reductions in spending. Plus, sequestration entered the fray, which aided in the decrease of federal expenditures. While sequestration is not the budget tool Congress would have hoped for, the President is now trying to capitalize off of this budget negotiation side effect.
President Clinton likes to take credit for the budget surpluses in the nineties, which were a result of the Republicans' Contract with America. Now, President Obama wants to take sole credit for a decrease in the deficit, a reduction in spending that he has had to make do with.
The bad. The President wants to raise taxes on Americans at the worst possible time--as we are emerging from the financial crisis. President Obama's tax proposals target job creators and the middle class. One such proposal was so egregious that even the Democrats said, We can't go along with this.
The President had a tax proposal to cut tax benefits on college savings plans. The 529 college plans are a means by which close to 12 million families save for college, many of them middle class Americans. That comes at a time when student loan debt is approaching a trillion dollars.
Hidden deep in Obama's budget is a student loan program that recently has been discovered to have a $21.8 billion shortfall. His plan to subsidize student loans has now created a loss equal to the annual budgets of the Department of the Interior, EPA, and NASA.
The ugly. In President Obama's budget he discusses that by 2025 the Federal debt will have reached 73.3 percent of GDP. That is almost three-fourths of our Nation's collective wealth. The President defines the country's $18 trillion debt as being fiscally sustainable.
For him, 73 percent of our GDP is acceptable: The key test of fiscal sustainability is whether debt is stable . . . as a share of the economy, resulting in interest payments that consume a stable . . . share of the Nation's resources.
Figure that one out.
The most disheartening part is the President's numbers are incorrect. The Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan analytical wing of Congress, has stated that by 2025, the Federal debt will actually rise to nearly 79 percent of GDP, when the Federal debt would be $26.3 trillion. CBO states that our debt is currently 74 percent of GDP.
The question you are asking now is: What is causing this increase in government spending? I bet you know the answer but I am going to tell you anyway. The CBO lists many factors, all of which are contributing to a bust in our Federal spending.
With that, this budget is another example of what does not need to be.