state of the union
While President Barack Obama proposed on Tuesday night to cut spending, increase “investment” - a code word for more spending, reform the tax code, among many other pledges and announcements of new policy initiatives.
A post-speech analysis by the National Taxpayers Union found that despite the five-year spending freeze proposal, Obama’s proposals will have a net cost of $21 billion, and that’s on the low-end of estimates.
Some of the policy experts from the Cato Institute weighed in on the various proposals and themes in the State of the Union, ranging from the speeding freeze, to high-speed rail, trade and ObamaCare:
The day after President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, where he called for a mediocre spending freeze, the Congressional Budget Office released new projections showing an almost $1.5 trillion budget deficit for the current fiscal year, and nearly $7 trillion over the next 10 years:
Economic developments, and the government’s responses to them, have—of course—had a big impact on the budget. We estimate that, if current laws remain unchanged, the budget deficit this year will be close to $1.5 trillion, or 9.8 percent of GDP. That would follow deficits of 10.0 percent of GDP last year and 8.9 percent in the previous year, the three largest deficits since 1945. As a result, debt held by the public will probably jump from 40 percent of GDP at the end of fiscal year 2008 to nearly 70 percent at the end of fiscal year 2011.
If current laws remain unchanged, as we assume for CBO’s baseline projections, budget deficits would drop markedly over the next few years as a share of output. Deficits would average 3.6 percent of GDP from 2012 through 2021, totaling nearly $7 trillion over that decade. As a result, the debt held by the public would keep rising, reaching 77 percent of GDP in 2021.
The CBO also predicts that unemployment will remain over 9% for the year and would stay over 8%, where the Obama Administration said unemployment would peak under the stimulus bill, in 2012. Hey, but a freeze on non-defense discretionary spending will bring us back to fiscal stability, right? Not a chance, and frankly, the GOP proposal are also thin. But at least they’re actually proposing spending cuts.
With the official Republican response to the State of the Union set to be given by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) wonders why the media is paying attention to Rep. Michele Bachmann, who will give a shadow response through the Tea Party Express:
At his weekly briefing today, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor fielded a question about whether Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-Minn.) Tea Party Express-hosted response to the State of the Union would “muddy” the rest of the Republican response.
“Paul Ryan’s giving the official Republican response,” said Cantor, “and, you know, Michele Bachmann, just as the other 534 members of the House and Senate, [is] going to have opinions as to the State of the Union. And again, this is a process that happens every year, and I look forward to all comments. But it’s Paul Ryan that’s giving the official response.”
The follow-up: Those other 534 members were not going to get their speeches televised that night, with reporters on deck to cover them.
“All right,” said Cantor. “Well, then, maybe I should ask: Why is that the case?”
Admittedly, I’m not a fan of Bachmann. She’s a reactionary that often has problems getting the facts right, talks a lot of about spending, but when it comes to pet projects, she want to change defintions to make those projects not sound bad. Like I said yesterday, this makes the House Republican Conference look divided, which is not a good sign this early on in this new majority.
Below is a collection of several links that we didn’t get around to writing about, but still wanted to post for readers to examine. The stories typically range from news about prominent figures in the liberty movement, national politics, the nanny state, foreign policy and free markets.
On Tuesday evening, President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. We’re beginning to get an idea of what he will say - most of which will probably fall short of what Republicans want to hear:
President Barack Obama will call for new government spending on infrastructure, education and research in his State of the Union address Tuesday, sharpening his response to Republicans in Congress who are demanding deep budget cuts, people familiar with the speech said.
Mr. Obama will argue that the U.S., even while trying to reduce its budget deficit, must make targeted investments to foster job growth and boost U.S. competitiveness in the world economy. The new spending could include initiatives aimed at building the renewable-energy sector—which received billions of dollars in stimulus funding—and rebuilding roads to improve transportation, people familiar with the matter said. Money to restructure the No Child Left Behind law’s testing mandates and institute more competitive grants also could be included.
While proposing new spending, Mr. Obama also will lay out significant budget cuts elsewhere, people familiar with the plans say, though they will likely fall short of what Republican lawmakers have requested.
We enjoyed the break to relax and recharge. But now that the holidays, we’ll be getting back in the swing of things here at United Liberty over the next few days, catching up on stories we may have missed over the last few days; just in time for the start of the 112th Congress.
Later this month we’ll be live-blogging the State of the Union. Next month we’ll be at CPAC and we’re looking forward to the upcoming presidential debates that are just five months away.
Happy New Year, we have a feeling it’s going to be a great one.
At a Q&A someone asked Chief Justice Roberts how he felt about the President making comments about a recent decision that the court made during the State of the Union. Roberts had an excellent answer:
In case you missed it, here is video of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech. I’ll try to have some thoughts about the speech posted later today:
Here is video of the Republican response, given by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell:
Welcome to United Liberty’s live-blog of the State of the Union address. Our coverage will begin around 8:30pm. President Barack Obama will begin his speech to the joint session of Congress around 9pm.
The talking points from the Obama Administration are already out. The president will talk up jobs and focus on the middle class and other play up other populist talking points. Obama will also make another push on health care “reform.” Speaker Nancy Pelosi was floating ideas today such as incremental changes in the system just to get something through Congress.
Interestingly, he’ll call for transparency in Washington. That’s a laugh considering his campaign promises to televise health care negoitions on C-SPAN (and C-SPAN has asked for sunlight on this as well).