The nonpartisan nonprofit, Public Notice released a poll of 800 registered “likely” voters yesterday to coincide with President Obama’s proposed budget for 2013. Their findings and the President’s budget couldn’t be more different.
“When asked about the best way to grow the economy and create jobs, voters respond with a strong preference for cutting government spending and keeping taxes low (55 percent) as opposed to increasing government spending and asking the rich to pay more in taxes (36 percent),” Public Notice found. Additionally, 75 percent wanted the president to cut spending in the budget.
But President Obama’s $3.8 trillion budget request “hikes taxes on the rich, spends new money on infrastructure and education, but does little to reform the entitlement programs that pose the biggest long-term threat to the federal budget,” Tom Cohen at CNN noted. The New York Times noted that the plan would add $6.7 trillion in additional debt through 2022.
Contrast this with the Public Notice’s poll, showing 73 percent of Americans see the economy as heavily impacted by the national debt. Does President Obama think those Americans believe more debt will positively impact the economy?
The Republican Study Committee also attacked the budget, noting that it “breaks his [Obama] promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his term, calls for more failed stimulus spending, and includes a nearly $1 trillion gimmick from ‘saving’ money that was never requested and never going to be spent. Despite this gimmick and a $1.5 trillion tax hike on wealthy Americans, the president’s budget never balances.”
The savings gimmick they are referring to is military spending. The New York Times’ Jonathan Weisman wrote Republicans protested President Obama’s attempt to claim nearly $1 trillion in saving that wouldn’t be spent each year on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “True, a Republican administration may have unwound those wars more slowly than the Obama administration has, but Republican budget writers say that no one believes combat costs would have stayed steady over the next 10 years. Therefore, counting savings is misleading, Republicans say, since the savings come from money that would never have been spent.” This is like saying that a car buyer will save additional thousands by not buying a Corvette next year, when he was only planning to buy a Honda Civic. The money never would have been spent anyway, so it shouldn’t be claimed as savings.
But it’s more than that. RSC Chairman Jim Jordan noted, “President Obama isn’t just busting the budget. He has busted the liberal myth that huge tax increases on wealthy Americans will put an end to deficits. Even with budget gimmicks and the massive tax hikes liberals have sought for years, his budget never balances. Actually paying for all the spending President Obama wants would require a huge tax increase on middle class families. His budget is a recipe for fewer jobs and a more bloated government.”
Perhaps this reality is partly why the U.S. Senate has failed to pass a budget in the last three years, a fact 84 percent of Americans surveyed found disconcerting. Either way, Public Notice Executive Director Gretchen Hamel said, “President Obama and Congress are misleading themselves if they think voters are confused about what they want. Americans know that absent a budget and a real, serious review of our nation’s finances, the same reckless overspending will continue.”
Here’s hoping they make it clear in November.
Editor’s Note: Darin Miller was once an intern for Representative Jim Jordan