Today, President Obama will release his delayed Fiscal Year 2013 budget to Congress, and based on reports we expect nothing more than a political document that fails to provide real leadership on the serious fiscal challenges facing our country. The bottom line is the President’s budget will make our economy worse, not better. The President’s budget will increase spending and ignores the biggest drivers of our debt, making it impossible for the economy to recover and generate the growth we need to create jobs and reduce the trillion-dollar deficit. The Obama Administration has created a government-run economy defined by more spending, long term unemployment, more burdens on small business job creators, and this budget is the latest example of failed leadership.
Today In History: 12 years ago today, the final Sunday Peanuts comic strip appeared in newspapers on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2000.
Birthdays: Mena Suvari, Jerry Springer, Peter Gabriel, and Niklas Backstrom
Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …
State Of Play: President Obama To Put Forward A Political Document That Fails To Deal With The Drivers Of The Debt
President Obama’s Budget Fails To Address The Drivers Of The Debt and Doubles Down On The Failed Policies Of The Past. Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell, delivering the Republican weekly address Saturday, said he expected Obama's budget proposal to "increase taxes, ignore entitlement reform and fail to address the federal debt." "In short, we can expect that this will not be a proactive budget built to promote fiscal responsibility and future prosperity," McDonnell said. "Rather it appears we'll see a bloated budget that doubles down on the failed policies of the past." CNN
Even The White House Admits The President’s Budget Is A Political Document. But administration officials acknowledge that the bulk of their plan is a campaign blueprint more than anything—at least until the end of the year. The Wall Street Journal
Fast Facts On the President’s Budget:
• President Obama’s Budget Predicts Another Trillion Dollar Deficit, Making It His 4th Consecutive Budget Predicting A Trillion Dollar Deficit. Obama's spending blueprint for the budget year that begins Oct. 1 projects a deficit for this year of $1.33 trillion. That would mean four straight years of trillion-dollar-plus deficits. The Associated Press
• President Obama’s Call For More Stimulus Style Spending Will Create An Even Larger Deficit Than In 2011. The new projected deficit would mark the fourth straight year of deficits exceeding $1 trillion and would be higher than the $1.296 trillion deficit logged in 2011. The Wall Street Journal
• The President’s Budget Also Fails To Live Up To His Promise Of Cutting The Deficit In Half. But the document’s numbers will show Mr. Obama has failed to meet his pledge to cut the deficit in half by the end of his term … The New York Times
• Reminder: The Senate Defeated President Obama’s Previous Budget 97- 0
State Of Play (2): Does The Administration Know What It Takes To Pass A Budget Through The Senate?
Washington Post: WH CoS, Former Obama Budget Director “Completely Wrong” On Votes Necessary To Pass A Budget Through Senate. That said, Lew is completely wrong when he claims that 60 votes are needed to “pass a budget in the Senate.” As he well knows, a budget resolution is one of the few things that are not subject to a filibuster. In fact, that is one reason why a bill based on reconciliation instructions cannot be filibustered… We might be tempted to think Lew misspoke, except that he said virtually the same thing, on two different shows, when he was specifically asked about the failure of Senate Democrats to pass a budget resolution. He even prefaced his comment on CNN by citing the “need to be honest.” … Instead, the former budget director twice choose to use highly misleading language that blamed Republicans for the failure of the Democratic leadership. … We wavered between three and four Pinocchios, in part because the budget resolution is only a blueprint, not a law, but ultimately decided a two-time budget director really should know better. The Washington Post
White House Attempts To Provide Cover For Senator Reid and Schumer’s Failure To Lead On The Budget. Gregory: The leadership deficit in Washington has had an impact on what business does in America and certainly our economic outlook. Here's a stat that a lot of people may not know but it's pretty striking. The number of days since Senate Democrats passed a budget is 1019. Can you just explain as the former budget director, how do you fund the government when there's no budget?" Lew: "Well, one of the things about the United States Senate that I think the American people have realized is that it takes 50 not 60 votes to pass something. And there has been Republican opposition to anything the democrats have tried to do. It's a challenge in the United States Senate to pass legislation when there is not that willingness to work together. Congress didn't do a great job last year. It drove right to the edge of the cliff on occasion after occasion. I actually think it's unfair to blame the United States Senate for that. A lot of that was because of the extreme, you know, conservative approach taken by House Republicans." Gregory: "Your party controls the Senate, does it not?" Lew: "Yea, but the positions that ended up tying the Congress in knots came out of the House, came out of the Tea Party wing in the house." NBC’s Meet The Press
Math Check: Senate Democrats Failure To Produce A Budget Has Nothing To Do With House Republicans
• Number Of Votes Needed To Pass A Budget Through The Senate – 51
• Number Of Democrats In The Senate – 53
It’s Been 1020 Days Since Senate Democrats Passed A Budget and They Have No Intention Of Doing So This Year Either.
• Democrats controlling the Senate appear unlikely to offer a budget at all, for a third straight year. The Associated Press
• Senate Democratic leaders have said they have no intention of adopting a budget this year. The Washington Post
The Economy: Cantor, House GOP Focus On Jump Starting America’s Engine Of Economic Growth
Leader Cantor: The Tax Cut Republicans Are Proposing Goes Right To The Heart Of The Economic Engine Of This Country. When I spoke to the student delegates at the convention, what I said was this. I mean, we're going to have a very robust debate about the state of our economy and the direction in which we head as a country. I talked a lot about the president's recent rhetoric. Oftentimes the president is talking about their play and what is fair in terms of our tax policy and who pays for the government. And I also spoke a lot about the president's proposed Buffett rule that he named after Warren Buffett. Somehow he is conflated the small and medium sized business people with the likes of billionaire Warren Buffett. I said we need a Buffett rule, we need a buffer rule. We really have got to stop the intrusion of more and more government. Washington has enough money it's spending, and we have got to get the fiscal house by aiming at, number one, reducing spending, but number two, trying to increase the economic activity in the private sector. And what I said backbone of America is our small business people. What I proposed today is a 20 percent small business tax cut that goes right to the heart of the economic engine in this country which are the men and women who are the entrepreneurs willing to go and take a risk if they just get some signal out of Washington that Washington will get out of the way and stop making it so expensive and so difficult. Fox News
• Leader Cantor Stress The Need For A Small Business Tax Cut and To Reduce The President’s Regulatory Red Tape On Small Business. For 30 minutes on Friday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia skillfully weaved anecdotes of middle class success with a scorching rebuke of President Barack Obama's administration economic policies. … Cantor said a prosperous American economy is meant to “evolve, adapt even mutate into previously unimagined forms – with a maximum of freedom exercised by the intelligence, ingenuity and imagination of the economic innovators among us." … The Republican agenda is a different agenda that offers money “back to the hardworking individuals and takes it away from bureaucrats. This will lead to jobs by small businesses, entrepreneurs and investors," according to Cantor. … Cantor said the businesses are not starting up because of the costs and the regulations coming down from Washington. “Small businesses are too expensive to start,” Cantor said. He said his 20 percent tax cut for small businesses and a cut in federal regulations would restore the trust between government and the American people. “Government must be downsized and the private sector upsized,” Cantor said. “We must restore the opportunities for entrepreneurs, and energize more entrepreneurs to start small businesses." The News Virginian
Red Tape Round Up: The Cost Of Regulations On Job Creators
• Cost Of Federal Regulations: $13,925,179,000 American Action Forum
• Paperwork Burden Hours: 38,541,886 American Action Forum
ObamaCare Update: The Chief Architect Of ObamaCare: Steep Premium Increases Ahead
ObamaCare Architect: Expect Steep Increase In Health Care Premiums. Medical insurance premiums in the United States are on the rise, the chief architect of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul has told The Daily Caller. … “As a consequence of the Affordable Care Act,” the president said in September 2010, ”premiums are going to be lower than they would be otherwise; health care costs overall are going to be lower than they would be otherwise.” Gruber’s new reports are in direct contrast Obama’s words — and with claims Gruber himself made in 2009. Then, the economics professor said that based on figures provided by the independent Congressional Budget Office, “[health care] reform will significantly reduce, not increase, non-group premiums.” During his presentation to Wisconsin officials in August 2011, Gruber revealed that while about 57 percent of those who get their insurance through the individual market will benefit in one way or another from the law’s subsides, an even larger majority of the individual market will end up paying drastically more overall. “After the application of tax subsidies, 59 percent of the individual market will experience an average premium increase of 31 percent,” Gruber reported. The Daily Caller