Time to restore fiscal sanity

Obama should take a lesson on responsible budgets from Chris Christie, Scott Walker and Andrew Cuomo.

Joshua Villa

President Barack Obama said in a 2009 radio address, “I didnâÄôt come here to pass on our problems to the next president or the next generation âÄî I came here to solve them.”

While he has made this pledge to the American people on numerous occasions, ObamaâÄôs current budget proposal does the exact opposite of what he promised.

Obama plans to increase the deficit to a record $1.6 trillion for this year alone. A total of $7.2 trillion will need to be borrowed through the year 2021 with the Obama budget.

ObamaâÄôs proposal also calls for $2 trillion in new taxes through 2021, but âÄî because of a continually expanding federal budget âÄî the new taxes wonâÄôt solve the debt problem.

More taxes and spending are not the remedy to lifting us out of the economic downturn. They are not a smart strategy for long-term growth. In fact, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that ObamaâÄôs budget is “unsustainable.”

In order for Obama to live up to his pledge not to pass our problems to the next generation, he needs to have the budget balanced or showing a surplus by the end of his term.

Because states are required to balance their budgets, Obama should look to governors for a lesson on the subject.

A prime example of balancing a budget with a âÄòpro-growthâÄô tax policy can be seen in New Jersey. The state faced a variety of problems, including a projected $11 billion deficit. Additionally, findings from a Boston College study concluded that approximately $70 billion of wealth had left the state between 2004-08 along with many high-tech, high paying jobs.

To address these problems, Gov. Chris Christie carefully made a budget that dramatically reduced spending. It included eliminating wasteful programs, converting paper filing of state forms to digital filing âÄî requiring public employees to contribute 1.5 percent of their salaries to their healthcare âÄî and cutting state education spending by $820 million.

But Christie isnâÄôt the only governor who is fighting for fiscal responsibility.

The forward-thinking actions of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker are another prime example of trying to solve budget and economic woes without government expansion. With his proposed changes to the public workers unions, he is trying to shave $300 million off of the stateâÄôs deficit. While his cuts are difficult, they are necessary to save the jobs of 6,000 public employees and prevent the removal of 200,000 children from Medicaid.

Even Democrats like Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York are fighting to balance the budget by relying on cuts. Cuomo proposed a budget that will eliminate the stateâÄôs $10 billion deficit with cuts alone âÄî refusing to increase taxes on already hurting businesses. He has a 57% approval rating because of his budget.

In order to fix the mess, Obama needs to look around the U.S. and follow the lead of these governors. He must immediately stop his reckless spending tax increases and immediately reign in the debt.

These governors are required by law to balance the budget. They all acknowledge that in order to foster strong economic and job growth, new taxes and bigger government will not help lower the federal deficit.

While Obama is not required to balance the budget, he must acknowledge that the amount of debt we are approaching will have horrible consequences. The national debt is projected to be 77% of the GDP in 2021 with ObamaâÄôs budget.

Obama has forgotten his pledge to solve the problems of today to prevent passing them on to future generations.

 

Josh Villa welcomes comments at [email protected]