The GOP path back is being led by Obama
Something powerful is stirring in the land, and it may not be good news for President Barack Obama, his agenda or the Democratic Party. Mr. Obama said Tuesday night his budget moves America "from an era of borrow and spend" to "save and invest." But people are realizing he would add $9.3 trillion to the national debt, doubling it in six years and nearly tripling it in 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). How can that be "save and invest"?The Tea Party rallies are growing despite being largely ignored by many in the media. Rove's insightful commentary is harder to ignore. Recently the Democrats have been floundering for a demon to attack having failed with Rush Limbaugh and have started using Rove in ads for a seat they may lose in a New York special election. This is a high honor, but it shows how Democrats are having difficulty finding someone else to blame for the screw ups they are making.
Suddenly, though, it doesn't seem like a time of new politics and new concerns. Many Americans are anxious -- and in some cases angry -- about a set of old issues: deficits, taxes and the national debt. Mr. Obama's radical budget, his administration's slapdash operating manner, and events such as the AIG bonuses have revived animosity over government's size and cost.
In response, tea parties are sprouting up, and opposition is growing to more bailouts, more spending, higher taxes and larger deficits, even among Congressional Democrats.
Last fiscal year, the deficit was $459 billion. For this fiscal year, it was $569 billion when Mr. Obama took office. Under his proposals, another $1.276 trillion will be added to the deficit this year, for a total of $1.845 trillion.
The CBO says deficits will fall for three years to $658 billion, still nearly 50% larger than any past deficit. After that, deficits go back up every year, reaching the trillion-dollar a year mark again in nine years. By 2019, the debt would reach 82.4% of GDP, a level not seen since 1947. With astonishing candor, even Peter Orszag, the president's budget director conceded these levels of deficits and debt are "unsustainable."
Federal spending will under Mr. Obama top $4 trillion this year. This translates into 28.5% of GDP -- a level exceeded only at the height of World War II. According to the president's plans, spending will thereafter slow for three years, but then grow faster than the economy for the next seven years and beyond. Spending rises by $3.1 trillion from 2009-19, including $911 billion for legislation signed during his first two months in office, including the stimulus bill and the expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (and not including interest on the mushrooming debt). Mr. Obama is violating every tenet of his promise "to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day."
Americans are also worried about Mr. Obama's plans for $1.9 trillion more in taxes. These tax hikes won't just affect the "rich," as he claims. His cap-and-trade carbon tax will hit everyone who consumes energy -- that is, every American. Taxes on the top 5% of filers will result in lost jobs and wages for small businesses and less charitable giving. The administration claims higher taxes are required for deficit reduction. But its spending increases are half again as large as its tax hikes.
Nothing has deterred the administration from pursuing its staggeringly expensive agenda. Mr. Obama brushed off any concerns Tuesday night. He is quite openly using the economic crisis to launch a massive, permanent expansion of government financed by ever-more borrowing and ever-higher taxes. This may mean that his goal is to cause taxes to rise to European levels, transforming America into a European-style social democracy.