NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


April 2, 2009

Our country's long-term future is hard to predict, especially since the Democratic Congress is on the cusp of adopting President Obama's budget blueprint.  This is a defining budget.  It shows very clearly where the president and the Democratic majority want to take our country: sharply to the left, says Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), the ranking minority member of the Senate Budget Committee.

The president's budget makes clear that a huge expansion of government is not just about today's economic downturn.  Once the recession is behind us, this budget will continue pushing for more and more government in our everyday lives.  Instead of tightening Uncle Sam's belt the way so many American families are cutting back these days, the president's proposal spends so aggressively that it essentially adds $1 trillion to the debt, on average, every year, says Gregg.

Except for some accounting gimmicks, the budget makes no attempt to cut wasteful spending or find savings:

  • It ignores reform for major entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security, which are on track to cost us $67 trillion more than we have over the next 75 years.
  • The new spending is coupled with the largest tax increase in U.S. history -- $1.5 trillion over 10 years.

We will be left with an unsustainable level of debt, says Gregg:

  • Under the president's budget, the national debt doubles in five years and nearly triples in 10 years.
  • Our debt will exceed 80 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2019 -- the highest level since World War II.

This borrowed money is certainly not free.  Our children and grandchildren will be hit with the bill.  Sadly, in 10 years, we will spend more on interest payments on this debt than we spend on education, energy and transportation combined -- almost four times as much, says Gregg.

Source: Judd Gregg, "A Budget To Beggar Us," Washington Post, April 1, 2009.

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