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Atlanta Business Chronicle - President's Budget is a Liberal Wish List


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By Rep. Phil Gingrey, M.D.

More than two months past the legal deadline, last week President Obama sent Congress a budget full of tax hikes, increased government spending, and divisive class warfare policies.

The President's budget, which never comes to balance, grows government bureaucracy on the backs of middle class families and job creators. These tax-and-spend policies include a trillion dollars in tax increases, trillions more in new debt, and hundreds of billions allotted for new government spending projects. This plan simply will not put Americans back to work.

Expanding the Port of Savannah, however, will put Georgians and Americans back to work and is the single-most important infrastructure investment in the Southeast. While President Obama pledged support for "modern ports to move our goods," his budget allotted just $1.28 million -- a fraction of the $421 million federal share-- towards the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.

On top of the current 354,000 Port jobs, this project would create 11,000 direct jobs and thousands more indirect jobs for those who have been hardest by the recession--pipefitters, welders, mechanics, etc. It represents $174 million in net annual benefits from economic development investment and will continue attracting companies like John Deere, Kia, and Caterpillar to our state.

When you consider his budget includes $4.5 billion for community organizing groups like ACORN , this speaks volumes about the President's priorities.

Earlier this year, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified to the Armed Services Committee that our military could not absorb any additional cuts and continue to carry out its current missions. Despite this warning, President Obama slashed $120 billion more, on top of $42.7 billion in sequestration cuts this year. This budget proposal threatens our military readiness, decreases pay raises to active duty servicemen and women, and forces veterans to pay more in out-of-pocket health care costs. In fact, a recent news story named "troops and veterans" as one of the biggest "losers" in Obama's budget.

The President's budget also fails to address our increasing health care deficits. The CBO has estimated that the Federal government will spend $11.2 trillion on Medicare and Medicaid over the next 10 years, yet the Administration's budget plan calls for a net savings to the programs of $152 billion or 1.35 percent. Simply put, this math doesn't work. The President had a real opportunity to lead on health care reform and to offer a vision of innovation and efficiency that would protect current beneficiaries while establishing a program for our children grounded in fiscal reality. Instead, the President's budget includes old ideas, rehashed rhetoric, and leaves our country with continued uncertainty about the future of Medicare and its implication on our budget.

President Obama's budget, which reads more like a liberal "wish list," continues propelling us down the same reckless path we are on now. Raising taxes to pay for increased government spending stifles economic growth, causes small businesses to shed even more jobs, and adds to our exploding national debt. Americans deserve better. Rather than implementing more liberal tax-and-spend policies that leave future generations on the hook, we must cut spending, enact a fairer, simpler tax code, and create an environment where families and job creators are able to thrive.

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