On Wednesday, Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said that President Barack Obama’s proposed budget would “depress the American economy under a never-ending avalanche of debt” that is “not merely reckless; it’s unthinkable.”
Sessions said the Obama plan would increase welfare and poverty spending 70% and would add $8.2 trillion to America’s already $16.7 trillion debt.
“Despite promises of $1.8 trillion in deficit reduction, the budget contains only a tiny fraction of that amount, just $119 billion, meaning that our debt will surge to $25.4 trillion in 2023–permanently above the danger zone of 90 percent of GDP that is crushing growth and jobs today,” said Sessions. ” Taking into account new spending this year, actual deficit reduction is just $59 billion.”
Senate Republican Conference Chairman Sen. John Thune (R-SD) agreed: “Last week we learned that nearly 500,000 Americans stopped looking for work, driving down the labor force participation rate to 63.3 percent, the lowest level since Jimmy Carter was president.”
“Just days after that report, the president had an opportunity today to lay out an economic plan that would help restore our nation’s fiscal health, grow our economy, and put people back to work,” Thune explained. “Instead, the budget proposal put forward by the president represents more of the same failed economic policies that have led to the worst recovery since World War II.”
Progressives have also expressed outrage over Obama’s budget.
“When Barack Obama was running for president in 2008, he said that he would not cut Social Security,” said self-described socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). “We want the president to remember what he said and not go back on his word!”
“The White House tells us they want to defend the middle class–that’s their mantra. If you want to defend the middle class you don’t cut Social Security, you don’t cut Medicare, and you don’t cut benefits for disabled vets,” Sanders scolded.
Whether Obama’s budget can avoid going the way of his past budgets remains to be seen. In 2011 and 2012, President Barack Obama suffered humiliating defeats when Senate Democrats and Republicans united to unanimously rejected his proposed budgets.