Obama Budget Is Rainbows, Butterflies, and Unicorns

The Obama Administration’s 2015 proposed “Budget of the United States” promises the economy will grow at its fastest rate in a decade, unemployment will fall to the average of the Reagan Administration, and spending will rise at its lowest percentage rate since the Clinton Administration.

As a math person I can assure readers there appears to be no arithmetical errors in the two-pound budget book. However, no one will take Obama’s budget proposal very seriously because the projections that underlie his next year’s wish list are just more Rainbows, Butterflies, and Unicorns.

Rainbows, Butterflies, and Unicorns (RBU) is an slang term used on Wall Street to sarcastically describe a situation in which expectations are unrealistic and one has to put on a happy face regardless of personal opinions. This perfectly describes the president’s budget, which tries to celebrate a $500 billion deficit as a major accomplishment.

The Heritage Foundation describes Obama’s proposed budget as “A Vision That Big and Expensive Government Is Necessary for American Success” because it violates spending caps, fails to adequately prepare our men and women in uniform to effectively fight current and future wars, and recklessly accelerates America’s path to insolvency.

It seems rather admirable that the Treasury Department’s published budget projections admit that by 2024 under Obama’s plan federal spending rises from $3.5 trillion in 2013 to nearly $6 trillion, public debt leaps from $12 trillion in 2013 to $19 trillion, and the national debt grows from $17.3 trillion today to $25 trillion in 2024. The treasury knows these grim deficit and debt loads would cause multiple downgrades of America’s credit rating.

The Administration’s ten-year estimates assume the economy consistently achieves high growth, despite $1.2 trillion in new and increased taxes. The budget also fancifully credits Obamacare with saving the federal government $1.2 trillion over the next decade, especially bizarre when the administration granted another one-year extension for mandatory enrollment on Tuesday. The most preposterous “savings” are supposed to come from the administration’s expectation the United States will save $700 billion by avoiding any war-related spending in the next decade, despite Russian tanks rolling into the Ukraine.

Congress regularly treats Barack Obama’s budget proposals as Rainbows, Butterflies, and Unicorns. The Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate unanimously rejected the President’s 2012 and 2013 budgets proposals, and the House of Representatives followed their lead by unanimously voting 414-0 against Obama’s 2013 budget blueprint. After a couple days of media comments, the President’s 2015 RBU budget proposal is headed for the trash can.

The author welcomes feedback @chriss@chrissstreetandcompany.com. Chriss Street is teaching microeconomic at University of California, Irvine this spring from March 31 – June 8, 2014. Call Student Services at (949) 824-5414 or visit http://unex.uci.edu/courses to enroll!


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