The Corner

Sessions: Setting the Record Straight

Keeping the White House honest about it’s 2012 budget is an exhausting job, but someone’s got to do it:

It’s been a frustrating couple of weeks for Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.). As ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, he’s had to sit through hours of testimony and listen to endless amounts of spin regarding President Obama’s 2012 budget. And it’s not so much the president’s lack of leadership on an issue of such great exigency — deficit reduction — that Sessions finds most galling. It’s the fact that Obama and his deputies are trying to pull a fast one on the public.

“He didn’t lead, but worse than that, he falsely told the American people, ‘If you pass my budget, we’ll start living within our means and start paying down the debt,’” Sessions tells National Review Online. “We need to call on the president to be honest with the American people.”

[…]

In the real world, Obama’s budget increases — in fact, almost doubles — the national debt from $14 trillion to $26.3 trillion over the next decade, according to the Office of Management and Budget. It includes almost $9 trillion in new spending, and has a total price tag of $46 trillion, over that same period. At no point in the ten-year window does the federal government come close to balancing its budget. The closest it ever gets is a budget deficit of $600 billion. And that’s before you take into account the fanciful nature of the administration’s projections regarding growth and interest rates.

Here is Sessions in action, questioning Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood about the 62 percent increase in funding requested by the Department of Transportation, in particular a $435 billion “phantom tax” increase that the budget (unrealistically) assumes will be authorized by Congress:

Andrew StilesAndrew Stiles is a political reporter for National Review Online. He previously worked at the Washington Free Beacon, and was an intern at The Hill newspaper. Stiles is a 2009 ...

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