Obama’s Top 10 Spending Dodges

Obama’s Top 10 Spending Dodges
1. OBAMA SAID HE WOULD CUT THE DEFICIT IN HALF BUT IT WILL END UP DOUBLE WHAT HE AIMED FOR
What Obama Said …
February 2009: “President Barack Obama Plans To Cut The U.S. Budget Deficit To $533 Billion By The End Of His First Term …” (Hans Nichols, “Obama Plans To Reduce Budget Deficit To $533 Billion By 2013,” Bloomberg, 2/21/09)
  • The President Believed That A Failure To Control The Deficit Would “Make It Harder For The Economy To Grow.” “Obama wants to reduce the deficit because he’s concerned that over time, federal borrowing will make it harder for the U.S. economy to grow and create jobs, said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.”  (Hans Nichols, “Obama Plans To Reduce Budget Deficit To $533 Billion By 2013,” Bloomberg, 2/21/09)
What Obama Did …
Obama Kicked The Can: Deseret News: Obama’s “Inadequate Budget Plan … Attempts To Kick The Can Of Responsibility So Far Down The Road It Actually Increases Budget Deficits.” (Editorial, “An Inadequate Budget Plan,” Deseret News, 2/15/11)
What Has Happened …
Obama Fell Short: The Deficit For FY2012 At The End Of Obama’s First Term Is Expected To Be $1.1 Trillion, Over Double What He Aimed For. (Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Of The U.S. Government, Office Of Management And Budget, 2/14/11)
2. OBAMA SAID THE STIMULUS WOULD BE CAREFUL WITH TAXPAYER MONEY BUT IT WAS FULL OF WASTEFUL BOONDOGGLES
What Obama Said …
February 2009: “With A Recovery Package Of This Size Comes A Responsibility To Assure Every Taxpayer That We Are Being Careful With The Money They Work So Hard To Earn.”  (President Barack Obama, Remarks on Signing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Denver, CO, 2/17/09)
What Obama Did …
Obama Punted: Obama Let Democrats Write The Stimulus “And They Did What Comes Naturally.” “Mr. Obama chose to let House Democrats write the bill, and they did what comes naturally: They cleaned out their intellectual cupboards and wrote a bill that is 90% social policy, and 10% economic policy.” (Editorial, “The Stimulus Tragedy,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/7/09)
What Happened …
Obama Flubbed It: Obama Bought The Advice Of Economists Who Said Any Spending, “Even The Worst Kind Of Boondoggle Is Stimulative.” (Jonathan Alter, The Promise, 2010, p. 84)
  • Obama “Admitted That The Enormous Sums Of Money” In The Stimulus “Had Fallen Short.” “Yet he also admitted that the enormous sums of money had fallen short. ‘If we’re honest, part of the controversy also is that despite the extraordinary work that has been done through the Recovery Act, millions of Americans are still without jobs.’”  (Richard Wolffe, Revival: The Struggle For Survival Inside The Obama White House, 2010, p. 155)

3. OBAMA PLEDGED TO REDUCE EARMARKS BUT SIGNED AN OMNIBUS BILL STUFFED FULL OF THEM

What He Said …
During The 2008 Campaign: Obama Pledged To Return Earmarks To 1994 Levels. “Barack Obama Is Committed To Returning Earmarks To Less Than $7.8 Billion A Year, The Level They Were At Before 1994 …” (“The Change We Need In Washington,” Obama For America, 2008)
What Obama Did …
Obama Caved: Fearing A Fight With Congressional Democrats Obama Signed An Omnibus “Full Of The Kind Of Crap That He Felt He Shouldn’t Be Signing …” “‘It was exactly full of the kind of crap that he felt he shouldn’t be signing at this time of economic distress,’ said one senior West Wing official. ‘It was a piece of legislation laden with pork. He signed it because the congressional wing of the White House convinced him that in order to achieve health care and his other many large agenda goals, he couldn’t pick a fight with the Democratic leadership on earmarks that early in his presidency.” (Richard Wolffe, Revival: The Struggle For Survival Inside The Obama White House, 2010, p. 184)
What Happened …
After Two Months In Office: Obama Signed $410 Billion Omnibus Spending Bill In March 2009 Containing Over 8,500 Earmarks Worth $7.7 Billion. “Obama signed a $410 billion spending bill Wednesday … that includes more than 8,500 pet projects worth $7.7 billion.” (Jonathan Weisman and Greg Hitt, “Obama Outlines Plan To Curb Earmarks,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/12/09)
4. OBAMA SAID THE OMNIBUS MARKED THE END OF “THE OLD WAY OF DOING BUSINESS” BUT THE OLD WAY THRIVED
What He Said …
March 2009: “This Piece Of Legislation Must Mark An End To The Old Way Of Doing Business, And The Beginning Of A New Era Of Responsibility And Accountability …” (President Barack Obama, Remarks by the President on Earmark Reform, Washington, D.C., 3/11/09)
What Happened …
The Old Way Thrived: Politifact: Earmarks Continued “Unabated.” (Louis Jacobson, “Earmarks Continue Unabated,” Politifact, 2/19/10) 
  • In FY2010, Appropriations Bills Contained Over 9,000 Earmarks Worth Almost $16 Billion. “For that fiscal year, the group says, appropriations bills contained 9,499 congressional earmarks worth $15.9 billion.” (Louis Jacobson, “Earmarks Continue Unabated,” Politifact, 2/19/10) 

5. OBAMA SAID WE NEEDED TO CONTAIN HEALTH CARE COSTS BUT HE PUNTED THOSE DECISIONS INTO THE FUTURE

What Obama Said …
August 2009: “Point Number Two, It Has To Bend The Cost Curve. What That Means Is That We’ve Got To Create A Plan That Experts Credibly Say Will Reduce Health Care Inflation …”  (President Barack Obama, Radio Interview Of The President By Michael Smerconish, Washington, D.C., 8/20/09)
What Obama Did …
Obama Punted: Politico On The Cost Of Healthcare: “Obama’s Punted The Decision To Some Future President And Some Future Congress …” (Chris Frates, “White House Punts On Containing Health Costs,” Politico, 2/24/10)
What Happened …
The Cost Curve Bent Up: “U.S. Health Spending Is Projected To Rise 9.2% In 2014, Up From The 6.6% Projected Before The Law Took Effect.” (Janet Adamy, “Health Outlays Still Seen Rising,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/9/10)
6. OBAMA PUNTED THE TOUGH CHOICES TO A FISCAL COMMISSION TO REIN IN THE BUDGET, THEN IGNORED THEIR RECOMMENDATIONS
What Obama Said …
January 2009: Obama Said “[I]‘m Going To Be Willing To Make Some Very Difficult Choices In How We Get A Handle On This Deficit. That’s What The American People Are Looking For.” (President-Elect Barack Obama, “Informal Exchange With Reporters On The Economy And Budget,” 1/6/09)
  • Obama Added That He Would Make “Those Tough Choices While I’m In Office” And “Not By Punting To Future Administrations.” “And, you know, what we intend to do this year, next year, and all the years that I’m in office is to demonstrate our seriousness, not by gimmicks, not by punting to future administrations the tough choices, but by making some of those tough choices while I’m in office.” (President-Elect Barack Obama, “Informal Exchange With Reporters On The Economy And Budget,” 1/6/09)
What Obama Did …
Obama Punted: “[W]ith Congressional Democrats Due To Face Voters In November, Obama Punted The [Deficit] Problem To The Bipartisan Panel …” “[W]ith congressional Democrats due to face voters in November, Obama punted the problem to the bipartisan panel, formally known as the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and ordered it to deliver a solution by Dec. 1, well after the fall elections.” (Lori Montgomery, “GOP Leaders Agree To Panel On Federal Deficit,” The Washington Post, 2/19/10)
What Happened …
Obama Ignored It: “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 Montgomary, “Obama Spending Plan Criticized For Avoiding Deficit Commission’s Major Proposals,” The Washington Post, 2/14/11)
  • After Shelving Their Recommendations, NBC’s Chuck Todd Asked The President “What Was The Point Of The Fiscal Commission?”  (President Barack Obama, The President’s News Conference, Washington, D.C., 2/16/11)

7. OBAMA SAID WE CAN’T “KICK THE CAN” ON ENTITLEMENT REFORM ANY LONGER BUT OBAMA PUNTED “THE CAN” YEARS INTO THE FUTURE

What Obama Said …
January 2009: Obama Claimed The Country Had Kicked The “Can Down The Road” For Too Long On Reforming Entitlements. OBAMA: “What we have done is kicked this can down the road. We are now at the end of the road and are not in a position to kick it any further. … We have to signal seriousness in this by making sure some of the hard decisions are made under my watch, not someone else’s.” (Michael D. Shear, “Obama Pledges Entitlement Reform,” The Washington Post, 1/16/09)
What Obama Did…
Obama Punted:The Christian Science Monitor: “Contrary To The Advice Of Obama’s Fiscal Commission, His Budget Map Punts Entitlement Reform To Future Negotiations As Far As Two Years Out.”(Gail Russell Chaddock, “Why The Budget Deficit Is So Hard For Congress To Shrink,” The Christian Science Monitor, 2/22/11)
·          President Obama’s FY2012 Budget “Declined To Propose Major Changes To Social Security, Medicare Or Medicaid.” “Even as the administration said it wants to reduce the deficit by more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years, it declined to propose major changes to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, which combined account for more than 40 percent of federal spending.” (Perry Bacon Jr., “In Third Year, Obama Proposes A More Modest Course,” The Washington Post, 2/14/11)
What Happened …
The Safety Net Is Going Broke: Social Security & Medicare Trustees: Medicare’s Trust Fund Will Be Exhausted In 2024, Five Years Earlier Than Predicted Last Year. “Medicare’s trust fund will run dry in 2024, five years earlier than forecast just last year, and Social Security’s will be exhausted by 2036, adding fuel to the debate over cutting one or both programs to reduce annual budget deficits.”  (Richard Wolf, “Medicare, Social Security Running Out Of Money Faster,” USA Today, 5/13/11)
  • The Nonpartisan CBO Projects That Medicare’s Trust Fund Will Be Exhausted Even Sooner, In 2020. (“March 2011 Medicare Baseline,” Congressional Budget Office, March 18, 2011)

8. OBAMA SAID PAYGO RULES WOULD FORCE GOVERNMENT
TO LIVE WITHIN ITS MEANS BUT OBAMA GUTTED THEM

What Obama Said …
February 2008: President Obama Promised That PAYGO Would Force The Government To “Live Within Our Means” By Requiring Spending To Be Paid For. “And that’s why last week, I signed into law the PAYGO bill—says very simply that the United States of America should pay as we go and live within our means again, just like responsible families and businesses do.” (President Barack Obama, “Remarks on Signing an Executive Order Establishing the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and an Exchange With Reporters,” The White House, 2/18/10)
What Obama Did …
Obama Gutted It: The Washington Post: Obama’s So-Called PAYGO Rule Has “$2.8 Trillion Loophole.” “Second, Mr. Obama would write into the law four whopping exceptions to the pay-as-you-go rule … This adds up to a $2.8 trillion loophole over 10 years.” (Editorial, “The Obama Diet,” The Washington Post, 6/12/09)
  • The Washington Post: “[T]he President’s Self-Congratulatory Back-Patting About Fiscal Rectitude Is More Than A Bit Hard To Take In Light Of The Huge Exceptions He Would Grant.” (Editorial, “The Obama Diet,” The Washington Post, 6/12/09)
What Happened …
Spending Bonanza: The National Debt Has Increased By $3.7 Trillion Since Obama Took Office. (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 7/10/11)
9. OBAMA SAID HIS BUDGET WOULD NOT ADD TO THE DEBT BUT HE DUCKED BEHIND “BUDGETARY GIMMICKS” TO MAKE IT APPEAR THAT WAY
What Obama Said …
February 2011: “The Budget I’m Proposing Today Meets That Pledge And Puts Us On A Path To Pay For What We Spend By The Middle Of The Decade.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks On The Federal Budget, Baltimore, MD, 2/14/11)
·         OBAMA: “We Will Not Be Adding More To The National Debt.” (President Barack Obama, The President’s News Conference, Washington, D.C., 2/16/11)
What Obama Did …
Obama Deployed Gimmicks: Given The Chance To Show Leadership With His Budget, Obama “Chose Instead To Duck” Behind “The Sort Of Budgetary Gimmicks He Once Derided.” (Editorial, “President Obama’s Budget Kicks The Hard Choices Further Down The Road,” The Washington Post, 2/15/11)
What Happened …
More Binge Spending: Obama’s FY2012 Budget Adds $13 Trillion In New Debt Through 2021.  (Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Of The U.S. Government, Office Of Management And Budget, 2/14/11)
President Barack Obama’s Claim Tuesday That His Proposed Budget Would Stop Adding To The National Debt Is Wrong — And Is Proved Wrong In His Own Budget.” (Steven Thomma, “Obama Says He’d Stop Adding To Debt, But That’s Not True,” McClatchy Newspapers, 2/15/11)
  • PolitiFact: “We Think The President’s Statement Is Likely To Mislead A Lot Of Americans About What His Budget Would Do. So We Rate Obama’s Statement False.” (“Barack Obama Says White House Budget Would Not Add To The Debt Within A Few Years,” PolitiFact, 2/15/11)

10. OBAMA TOOK A MULLIGAN ON HIS FIRST FY2012 BUDGET PROPOSAL AND NEVER RELEASED A BUDGET THAT COULD BE SCORED

What Obama Said …
April 2011: “So Today I’m Proposing A More Balanced Approach To Achieve $4 Trillion In Deficit Reduction Over 12 Years.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At George Washington University, Washington, D.C., 4/13/11)
What Obama Did …
Obama Evaded: “[Obama’s] Recent Budget Speech At George Washington University Was A Telling Model Of Evasion, Contradiction And Deception.” (Robert Samuelson, Op-Ed, “Obama Abdicates On The Budget,” The Washington Post, 4/24/11)
Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf: “We don’t estimate speeches.” (Committee On The Budget, U.S. House Hearing,, 6/23/11)
What Happened …
Obama’s Faking It: Chicago Sun Times: Obama “Punted And Failed The Test Of Leadership. Now, He’s Trying To Assume That Mantle.” “He could have started the discussion on the deficit last winter instead of waiting until this summer and a looming Aug. 2 deadline on raising the debt ceiling. But he punted and failed the test of leadership. Now, he’s trying to assume that mantle.” (Steve Huntley, “Obama Fires Blank On Economy,” Chicago Sun-Times, 7/12/11)
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