OBAMA'S BETRAYAL OF TRUST
IN 2013 OBAMA ENDORSED BUDGET CUTS WORSE
THAN THE DISASTROUS 2011 REPUBLICAN BUDGET
THERE WILL BE GRIM RESULTS FOR NEEDED
U.S. GOVERNMENT DISCRETIONARY SPENDING IN BILLIONS
You get what you pay for. You reap what you sow.
Since 1981 political forces in
America have been hard at work slashing non-defense discretionary spending.
As a share of our economy non-defense discretionary spending
is down almost 50% since 1981.
The results are not hard to
find. Child poverty today is higher than it was at the time of Martin
Luther King. In fact, America has the highest rates of child poverty in
the developed world. America's infrastructure is literally falling
apart. We are the only modern nation with no energy efficient high speed
rail. In a whole series of measures to monitor social welfare, America's
record is a social disaster.
One particularly grim result of
this is the AIDS crisis where insane budget cuts in 1981 helped to prevent a
quick response to AIDS before it got out of control.
result of Reagan budget cuts in 1981 was the near total destruction of the world's most advanced renewable
energy research program.
Many people do not understand the importance of government scientific research.
Commercial business simply cannot afford to take the risk to fund research in
new areas on the scale that the government can. The risk reward
factor does not allow commercial business to explore more than a limited number
of options. This is why a large part of America's technological edge has
come from military research. The internet was created by the Pentagon.
The Reagan budget cuts of 1981 cost the world a a future of
safe renewable energy as well as even
cutting money for things like nuclear fusion. Today, the skies over
the major cities of the developing world are filled with poison, and the world
faces a global climate crisis. It did not have to happen.
Unfortunately, in 2013 the House Republicans just passed a bill to slash
renewable energy spending even further. See our report:
2013 Renewable Energy Budget Cuts
In 2000 a man who lost the
popular vote was elected President due to America's nonsensical electoral
"college" system. George W. Bush set in motion policies that sent
government debt soaring. More huge tax cuts for the rich and a huge series
of wars were launched. The $64 billion "cost" of the Iraq war is now
calculated in the trillions of direct and long term costs. Today, in
constant dollars military spending is higher than at any time since World War
Rather than confront the costs of runaway tax cuts for
the rich and runaway plans for world empire, "budget policy" in Washington
in recent times has
focused on slashing programs that have already been slashed sharply since 1980.
Today, we can't even get into space without help from Russia. We have to
rely on Europe for part of our weather forecasting. Fire fighting planes
are so old that many can barely fly.
In 2013 "budget policy" in
Washington entered a twilight zone worthy of a late night horror movie.
The Obama administration came close to plunging the country into another giant
war, a war in Syria, that could have restarted a dangerous military
confrontation with Russia, sending U.S. military spending soaring even higher.
Obama also set in motion a huge confrontation with
his own political base over Syria. Fortunately, this disaster was avoided by some
creative diplomacy by Russia. Unfortunately, the distraction of another
giant imperial adventure had dire results for budget policy.
THE 2013 CONTINUING RESOLUTION
in Congress and President Obama almost totally capitulated to Republican demands
and actually agreed to a budget plan even more draconian than the bizarre Ryan
budget of 2011. The only way this can work is if huge cuts are made in the
military that are probably not politically possible.
Total discretionary spending is now placed at almost $200 billion below the 2010
This "plan" was supposed to
prevent the Republicans from attacking their own government with a shutdown and
a default on the debt. It did not work. Bizarre "Tea Party" lunatics
in the Republican Party so scared Republican leaders that they went along with
a mad plot to try to terrorize the nation into destroying President Obama's health
care plan, a plan that was a copy of the plan created by their own Republican
Presidential candidate in 2012, Mr. Romney.
So far this is not working.
We don't pretend to know where all this will end up. What we do know
is that "budget policy" in Washington since 2011 is a road to total disaster.
We need to change direction and
start investing in America's future. Taxes must be raised. Military
spending must be cut.
From the Erie Canal to the creation of the internet,
government investment has been critical to America's economic strength.
In Asia and other places rising economic powers are doing what America used to
do. They are investing huge amounts in modern infrastructure and the
training of their young people with work related skills. Today,
America is engaged in unilateral economic disarmament.
The result are not hard to find for 30 years of failed trade and economic policies.
America now runs a structural balance of payments deficit of over $500 billion.
In 1980 America was the world's largest creditor. Today it is the world's
largest debtor with a staggering net $4 trillion foreign debt (public and
private). Total debt as a share of GNP is at its highest level
in US history. Average wages are back to where they were in the 1960's....
and so on.
Can we ask China and other
states to please stop investing in their future and be nice in world trade?
Not likely. This is why forces of sanity need to prevail in America.
The effort to appease mentally unstable political forces and religious
extremists has not worked. After the government reopens, we need to
go in a different direction, a direction that is already adopted by our global
Here are some details of what
is needed as outlined in our reports:
FUTURE FUND REPORTS
Building a Real Economic Future
Broadband for All
A Manhattan Project for Renewable Energy
Disastrous Renewable Energy Budget Cuts
NEWS STORIES RELATED TO DEMOCRAT BUDGET COMPROMISE
Congressional Progressive Caucus Opposes Continuing Resolution
The Senate Continuing Resolution Is Already a Compromise (Center
for American Progress, 9-30-13)
Pelosi: Democrat Spending Concessions Lost in The News on Shutdown (The Hill, 10-4-13)
The Dirty Truth About Boehner's Clean Continuing Resolution (Center for American Progress, 9-10-13)