Remember the Obama vow to cut deficit in half? Now puts off budget update
"President Obama will announce Monday that he plans to cut the nation’s projected annual deficit in half by the end of his first term, a senior administration official said Saturday."
..."Under White House projections, this year’s inherited budget deficit of $1.3 trillion will be cut to $533 billion by fiscal year 2013, the end of the first term. 'So we’ll cut it at least in half,' the official said."
Where would the savings come from? "Winding down the war in Iraq," taxing the rich, and "other cuts" to be announced. These savings were to have allowed "an ambitious overhaul of the nation's health-care system." The president also said that his budget blueprint would be 'honest in its accounting.'”
Well, since that time, we have not cut or saved much of anything. In fact, our deficit just hit $1 trillion and is projected to reach "$1.84 trillion, four times the size of last year's deficit of $455 billion" by budget year end. Some predict $2 trillion.
Today we learn that the White House is delaying the usual mid July budget update until mid August. Why would that be?
They say it is because it is a transition year between administrations and the president only just released his his full budget in early May instead of early February. Maybe. If so, shouldn't the vote on Health Care reform and Cap and Trade be delayed until it is released?
But could it be that President Obama doesn't want the Congress to see the budget shortfall numbers BEFORE we add the estimated $1 Trillion cost of expanding Medicaid a.k.a. Health Care reform? (Let's not forget Cap and Trade hasn't passed the Senate yet either.)
President Obama promised just last week that, "health insurance reform cannot add to our deficit over the next decade and I mean it."
Obama also said that his health care reform will save money, but the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) doesn't agree. Douglas Elmendorf, the head of the CBO warned it would "significantly expand" federal costs. "The main health care proposals Congress is considering would not reduce costs - as Obama has insisted - but 'significantly expand' the federal financial responsibility for health care."
The CBO office just reported that, "Under current law, the federal budget is on an unsustainable path—meaning that federal debt will continue to grow much faster than the economy over the long run. Although great uncertainty surrounds longterm fiscal projections, rising costs for health care and the aging of the U.S. population will cause federal spending to increase rapidly under any plausible scenario for current law."
I am all for cutting the deficit in half by 2012, but just saying so doesn't make it so! Outside of national defense or other real necessities, we cannot afford to do anything new that adds to our deficit. But our president still wants his Health Care bill to be passed in early August before Congress recesses for the summer and BEFORE the Budget Update is released. Is that being "honest in its accounting?"
Things to do:
Call our Senators. US Senate Members
Senator Herb Kohl: (202) 224-5653, Senator Russ Feingold: (202) 224-5323
Sign the Freeourhealthcarenow.com petition
More reading: Obama's Health Plan Needs Spending Controls, CBO Says: "President Obama's plan to expand health coverage to the uninsured is likely to dig the nation deeper into debt unless policymakers adopt politically painful controls on spending, such as sharp reductions in payments to doctors, hospitals and other providers, congressional budget analysts said yesterday."