Update: The President’s Budget for FY 2011 is available here (192 pages total). The total is $3.2 trillion. I’ve never typed or written that many zeros in my life. Overviews and introductions by the White House Office of Management and Budget are available here. Critiques are available everywhere, but there’s a decent chart of where the money’s coming and going on Washington Post.com.
The President is about to submit his FY 2010 budget to Congress. The pop out characteristic of the budget is reining in the deficit through freeze on discretionary spending in certain non-defense and homeland security areas, phasing out ineffective or redundant programs (some National Park Service preservation programs will take a hit), and top it off with an offering to the American god of “tax cuts” for the middle class, and more support to programs for education and job creation. There’s more but the grand total of the budget proposal is $3.8 trillion.
Here’s a segment of the weekly address that pops out for me:
There are certain core principles our families and businesses follow when they sit down to do their own budgets. They accept that they can’t get everything they want and focus on what they really need. They make tough decisions and sacrifice for their kids. They don’t spend what they don’t have, and they make do with what they’ve got.
It’s time their government did the same. That’s why I’m pleased that the Senate has just restored the pay-as-you-go law that was in place back in the 1990s. It’s no coincidence that we ended that decade with a $236 billion surplus. But then we did away with PAYGO – and we ended the next decade with a $1.3 trillion deficit. Reinstating this law will help get us back on track, ensuring that every time we spend, we find somewhere else to cut.
This week my debit card fell out of my jacket pocket at a gas station (probably while going for my car keys). It took no time for someone to pick it up and go shopping at that same gas station. Fortunately, my next stop was the bank and that’s when I put the stop on the card. I was lucky. Only one illegal charge was made on the card – $75 – which has been removed from my balance. (How many lottery tickets did that person buy?) But the incident put me on a cash-only basis, i.e. pay as I go. I have to admit, I spend less without the card. Perhaps for me it’s a “cash in hand” basis. I do want to note that the old card was not signed and question the gas station staff’s process for not requesting an i.d. which is required when a credit card is not signed. What do we risk for convenience and speed?
There’s plenty of blame and responsibility to spread around for fiscal inconsistencies and malpractice. The President’s budget freezes will be debated on the grounds of whether they will be effective for better or worse. Some critics call it political theater; others don’t think they go far enough.
I’m ready and eager to work with anyone who’s serious about solving the real problems facing our people and our country. I welcome anyone who comes to the table in good faith to help get our economy moving again and fulfill this country’s promise. That’s why we were elected in the first place. That’s what the American people expect and deserve. And that’s what we must deliver.
That’s what I’m sayin’!