Opinion

Legislative Lowdown: Obama driving US off fiscal cliff

Are we better off under Obamanomics? Hardly, a new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reveals. According to the CBO, the federal government will spend $1 trillion more than it takes in this year — the fourth consecutive year that has happened. Furthermore, CBO projects negative growth and dismal unemployment numbers.

Remember President Obama’s promise that his stimulus plan would create jobs and set the economy on the right track? The CBO projects that if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire and scheduled defense cuts take effect, the unemployment rate will rise to 9.1% and the economy will contract by 0.5% by the end of next year.

The president’s record on the size and scope of the federal government is also terrible, according to this report. Obama inherited $10.6 trillion in debt and has seen it balloon to $16 trillion in his short tenure. His big-spending policies have saddled future generations with trillions in new debt.

This report contains further proof that the president’s proposed tax hikes are terrible for the economy. The CBO reports that “sharp increases in federal taxes and reductions in federal spending that are scheduled under current law to begin in calendar year 2013 are likely to interrupt the recent economic progress.” These policies will lead to “a recession” and “an unemployment rate that remains above 8 percent through 2014.”

The federal government is in dire need of specific cuts, but this report is further evidence that across-the-board cuts to defense spending may hit the wrong priorities at the Department of Defense. A better approach is to adopt some of the good ideas to cut government contained in Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget that passed the House of Representatives earlier this year.

These findings are echoed in the book “The Fiscal Cliff.” Brian Baker, president of Ending Spending, writes in the forward that “while the vast majority of Americans do pay taxes, including payroll, state, and sales taxes (to name a few), a recent report from the Joint Committee on Taxation shows that 51% of households in America paid no federal income tax in 2009, even though they used programs funded by federal income tax revenues.”

Baker is correct in his call for “lowering rates, broadening the tax base, and adopting pro-growth policies” in a way that will be revenue neutral in the first year, but will lead to increased revenues in future years as a result of a growing economy.

Obama’s policies are leading the U.S. economy to negative growth rates and high unemployment. Obamanomics is an abysmal failure. Washington needs to change direction.