The PJ Tatler

Obama Says We Can 'Afford' $74 Billion in New Spending

I would love to play poker with this president. He’s predictable, he can’t bluff, and he’s got a major league tell; you know he’s lying when his mouth moves.

The president used his weekly radio address to tout his new spending package for FY 2016. To do so, he channeled Obi-Wan Kenobi:

You don’t need to look at our $18 Trillion national debt.
This isn’t the deficit you’re looking for.
You can go about your business without worrying about the deficit.
Move along. Move along.

Indeed, the president said we can “afford” that extra spending — despite the deficit still hovering at well over $400 billion.

It’s a Jedi mind trick. He’s not serious in a policy way about this proposal. He knows there isn’t a ghost of a chance in passing it. His purpose is to pick a fight with Republicans — not very ennobling of our president, but then, who ever accused the president of being anything close to noble?

Washington Times:

“We’ll help working families’ paychecks go farther by treating things like paid leave and child care like the economic priorities that they are. We’ll offer Americans of every age the chance to upgrade their skills so they can earn higher wages, with plans like making two years of community college free for every responsible student. And we’ll keep building the world’s most attractive economy for high-wage jobs, with new investments in research, infrastructure, manufacturing, and expanded access to faster internet and new markets,” Mr. Obama said Saturday, previewing his budget. “We can afford to make these investments. Since I took office, we’ve cut our deficits by about two-thirds — the fastest sustained deficit reduction since just after the end of World War II.”

Deficits have indeed dropped considerably over the past several years, but the national debt continues to rise. It stood at $10.6 trillion when Mr. Obama came into office.

It now is over $18 trillion.

Meanwhile, Republicans are countering Mr. Obama’s message of so-called “middle-class economics” by pushing their own measures aimed at helping working families. House GOP leaders have proposed a plan to expand the 529 college savings accounts, which allow families to save for college and withdraw the money tax free.

The White House had sought to tax 529s but withdrew the plan after heavy public criticism and private pressure from prominent Democrats.

“It was a terribly misguided idea, but it took a public outcry for the president to realize it … But with hardworking families struggling, abandoning his proposal is not enough,” said Rep. Lynn Jenkins, Kansas Republican, said in the weekly GOP address. “First, the president should put his full weight behind our plan to expand and strengthen 529 accounts. We can remove common paperwork problems, empower students to use the money to pay for computers, and make it easier for families to send their kids to the college of their choice. Because we should be rewarding people who work hard and play by the rules — not punishing them.”

Ms. Jenkins also urged the president to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline. A measure approving the project cleared the Senate this week but Mr. Obama has vowed to veto it.

It should be noted that just about all of the reduction in the deficit has come about because of increased economic activity over the last 2 years. The American economy is quite resilient and even with the regulatory and fiscal burdens placed on it by this administration, the recovery has added tens of billions in revenue to federal coffers.

Of course, this only encourages liberals to spend the windfall. If the president truly wanted to help the Middle Class, he would cut spending to pay for his tax schemes, rather than raise taxes for some in order to cut taxes for others.

With the 529 tax proposal removed from the spending package, there is no way the White House can claim that the spending will be revenue neutral. This is reason enough to ignore the president’s proposals while the GOP advances a few of their own ideas.