Obama’s new budget proposal: same as his 2009 budget proposal


As I was reading Obama’s budget proposal address today, I thought the teleprompter must have failed. Did I pull up the wrong speech or was I reading Obama’s 2009 state of the union?

Ed Morrisey has the cliffs notes version and it’s a better read than Obama’s remarks, but I’m all about adding value, so here are the main points of Obama’s budget proposal today versus 2009, side-by-side.

Today, Obama says we need investment in all Obama approved indulgences:

We will invest in medical research and clean energy technology. We will invest in new roads and airports and broadband access. We will invest in education, we will invest in job training. We will do what we need to compete and we will win the future.

In 2009, Obama said we need to invest in all Obama approved indulgences:

We have also made the largest investment in basic research funding in American history – an investment that will spur not only new discoveries in energy, but breakthroughs in medicine, science, and technology.

We will soon lay down thousands of miles of power lines that can carry new energy to cities and towns across this country. And we will put Americans to work making our homes and buildings more efficient so that we can save billions of dollars on our energy bills.

Today, Obama promised to find savings in the defense budget:

The second step in our approach is to find additional savings in our defense budget. As Commander-in-Chief, I have no greater responsibility than protecting our national security, and I will never accept cuts that compromise our ability to defend our homeland or America’s interests around the world. But as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mullen, has said, the greatest long-term threat to America’s national security is America’s debt.
Just as we must find more savings in domestic programs, we must do the same in defense, and we can do that while still keeping ourselves safe.

In 2009, Obama assured us that cutting defense would balance the budget:

We’ll eliminate the no-bid contracts that have wasted billions in Iraq, and reform our defense budget so that we’re not paying for Cold War-era weapons systems we don’t use.

Today, Obama promised savings from health care reform:

The third step in our approach is to further reduce health care spending in our budget. Here, the difference with the House Republican plan could not be clearer: their plan lowers the government’s health care bills by asking seniors and poor families to pay them instead. Our approach lowers the government’s health care bills by reducing the cost of health care itself.

In 2009, Obama promised that Health Care reform would fix the budget:

Our recovery plan will invest in electronic health records and new technology that will reduce errors, bring down costs, ensure privacy, and save lives. It will launch a new effort to conquer a disease that has touched the life of nearly every American by seeking a cure for cancer in our time. And it makes the largest investment ever in preventive care, because that is one of the best ways to keep our people healthy and our costs under control.

This budget builds on these reforms. It includes an historic commitment to comprehensive health care reform – a down-payment on the principle that we must have quality, affordable health care for every American. It’s a commitment that’s paid for in part by efficiencies in our system that are long overdue. And it’s a step we must take if we hope to bring down our deficit in the years to come.

Today, Obama said that increasing taxes on the rich will end the deficits:

The fourth step in our approach is to reduce spending in the tax code, so-called tax expenditures. In December, I agreed to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans because it was the only way I could prevent a tax hike on middle-class Americans. But we cannot afford $1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our society. And I refuse to renew them again.

In 2009, taxing the rich was also the answer:

In order to save our children from a future of debt, we will also end the tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% of Americans. But let me perfectly clear, because I know you’ll hear the same old claims that rolling back these tax breaks means a massive tax increase on the American people: if your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime. In fact, the recovery plan provides a tax cut – that’s right, a tax cut – for 95% of working families. And these checks are on the way.

Today, Obama blames Bush for the deficit:

And so, by the time I took office, we once again found ourselves deeply in debt and unprepared for a Baby Boom retirement that is now starting to take place. When I took office, our projected deficit, annually, was more than $1 trillion.

In 2009, Obama blamed Bush for the deficit:

My budget does not attempt to solve every problem or address every issue. It reflects the stark reality of what we’ve inherited – a trillion dollar deficit, a financial crisis, and a costly recession.

The only real difference in the speeches is the fact that Obama is asking for three times as long to cut half as much as he promised in 2009.

In 2009, Obama promised to cut the deficit in half by 2012:

Yesterday, I held a fiscal summit where I pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term in office. My administration has also begun to go line by line through the federal budget in order to eliminate wasteful and ineffective programs.

Today, Obama promised to cut $4 trillion (roughly 25%) in twelve years or three times as much time for half as much:

This is my approach to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next twelve years.

So, you can either believe that the same 2009 budget that exasterbated instead of fixed the deficit, will suddenly work in 2011.

Or you can believe that if Obama’s plan is enacted and Obama is reelected, we will listen to the same speech in 2013, only Obama will promise to cut the deficit by 12.5% over the next 36 years.

Discussion at Memeorandum