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A Void In Leadership

- February 14, 2011

Obama Is More Concerned About His Reelection Than Tackling Our Fiscal Crisis

DECLINES TO LEAD ON THE NATION’S FISCAL CRISIS 

The New York Times: “With the budget he is to unveil Monday, President Obama has not opted for the bold, comprehensive approach to reining in the fast-growing federal debt that his own fiscal commission has said is needed, now. That decision partly reflects Mr. Obama’s characteristic caution, but also a White House calculation: that ‘now’ is too soon for the nation’s political system.”  (Jackie Calmes, “A Cautious Approach Seeking Bipartisan Appeal,” The New York Times2/13/11)

The Washington Post“Obama's budget makes clear that he will not take the lead in that debate: It contains no specific recommendations for tax or entitlement reform.” (Lori Montgomery, “Obama To Offer $3.7 Trillion Budget Blueprint; Deficit To Hit $1.6 Trillion This Year,” The Washington Post2/14/11)

ABC’s Jake Tapper: “The plan shows that Obama will not take the lead on any aggressive measure to eliminate the nation’s $14 trillion debt. This sets up the Obama administration on a collision course with Republicans, who are calling for serious deficit reduction and spending cuts.” (Jake Tapper, “President Obama’s Budget And The Pending Budget Fight,” ABC News’ “Political Punch” Blog, 2/14/11)

  • “At No Point In The President’s 10-Year Projection Would The U.S. Government Spend Less Than It's Taking In.” (Jake Tapper, “President Obama’s Budget And The Pending Budget Fight,” ABC News’ “Political Punch” Blog, 2/14/11)

OBAMA’S BUDGET “IS BY SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO WIN RE-ELECTION,” NOT LEAD

NBC News’ First Read: “Obama’s $3.7 trillion budget is an opening bid, as well as a political document by someone who wants to win re-election… Bottom line: Presidential budgets are more political documents than anything else, and this budget is by someone who wants to win re-election.” (NBC News’ “First Read,” 2/14/11)

EVEN DEMOCRATS AGREE THAT OBAMA IS NOT LEADING

Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND): “‘If we're going to get this debt down to a level that's sustainable, then we've got to do substantially more than $1 trillion worth of deficit reduction in the next decade. We just do,’ said Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (N.D.).” (Lori Montgomery, “Obama To Offer $3.7 Trillion Budget Blueprint; Deficit To Hit $1.6 Trillion This Year,” The Washington Post2/14/11)

Former Clinton Budget Director Alice Rivlin: “I would have preferred to see the administration get out front on addressing the entitlements and the tax reform that we need to reduce long-run deficits.” (Lori Montgomery, “Obama Spending Plan Criticized For Avoiding Deficit Commission's Major Proposals,” The Washington Post2/14/11)

Erskine Bowles, Chairman Of Obama’s Deficit Commission:  “Erskine Bowles, the Democratic chairman of the fiscal commission, said the White House budget request goes ‘nowhere near where they will have to go to resolve our fiscal nightmare.’”  (Lori Montgomery, “Obama Spending Plan Criticized For Avoiding Deficit Commission's Major Proposals,” The Washington Post, 2/14/11)

WHILE THE NATION’S DEBT CRISIS CONTINUES

The Wall Street Journal: “The White House projected Monday that the federal deficit would spike to $1.65 trillion in the current fiscal year, the largest dollar amount ever…” (Damian Paletta and Corey Boles, “White House Expects Deficit To Spike To $1.65 Trillion,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/14/11)

The New York Times: “Still, annual deficits through fiscal year 2021 will add a combined $7.2 trillion to the federal debt, Mr. Obama’s budget shows – after allowing for $1.1 trillion in deficit-reducing spending cuts and tax increases that the president proposes over the 10-year period.” (Jackie Calmes, “Obama Pivots From Stimulus To Deficit Cuts,” The New York Times, 2/14/11)

  • NYT“As he acknowledges, after 2021, an aging population and rising medical costs will drive deficits again to unsustainable heights.” (Jackie Calmes, “Obama Pivots From Stimulus To Deficit Cuts,” The New York Times, 2/14/11)

The Washington Post: “The annual deficit would recede to $1.1 trillion next year, as Obama's latest policies began to take effect - the fourth year in a row of trillion-dollar deficits.” (Lori Montogomery, “Obama To Offer $3.7 Trillion Budget Blueprint; Deficit To Hit $1.6 Trillion This Year,” The Washington Post2/14/11)

  • WaPo“All told, Obama estimates that the nation would have to borrow an additional $7.2 trillion through 2021 under his policies.” (Lori Montogomery, “Obama To Offer $3.7 Trillion Budget Blueprint; Deficit To Hit $1.6 Trillion This Year,” The Washington Post2/14/11)
  • WaPo: “Still, $1.1 trillion in savings would barely dent deficits that congressional budget analysts say could approach $12 trillion through 2021.” (Lori Montgomery, “Obama Spending Plan Criticized For Avoiding Deficit Commission's Major Proposals,” The Washington Post2/14/11)

The Wall Street Journal: “The White House would fail to meet a promise made a year ago to balance the budget outside of interest payments on the federal debt by 2015, which would mean a deficit of 3% of GDP.” (Jonathan Weisman And Naftali Bendavid, “Budget Forecasts Bigger 2011 Deficit,” The Wall Street Journal,2/14/11)

CNN“But even as it trims deficits, the president's budget would add $7.2 trillion to the debt held by the public between 2012 and 2021.” (Jeanne Sahadi, “Painful Cuts In Obama’s $3.7 Trillion Budget,” CNN Money2/14/11)

  • CNN“And because the president's budget will not address how to curb the growth in entitlement spending, there is little chance it would stabilize deficits beyond the next 10 years.” (Jeanne Sahadi, “Painful Cuts In Obama’s $3.7 Trillion Budget,” CNN Money2/14/11)

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