by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Let’s be clear: There have been no spending cuts since Obama became president. In 2010, the first year that President Obama was fully responsible for federal spending (President Obama signed the 2009 budget, but it’s fair to blame most of the spending in it on President Bush, who essentially proposed it), the federal government spent $3.45 trillion. Last year, we spent $3.54 trillion, nearly $100 billion more. And, outlays for the first four months of FY 2013 are $39.3 billion more than in the first four months of FY 2012. If we have seen a slight reduction in budget deficits, it is due exclusively to tax hikes and additional increased revenue as the economy comes out of recession.
And given the presidential wish list, we aren’t going to see any spending cuts anytime soon. The president wants to spend more money on education, infrastructure, “green energy,” manufacturing subsidies, universal preschool, and pretty much everything else. At the same time, the president warned that the upcoming sequester, a 2.4 percent reduction in projected future federal spending, would return us to something akin to the Dark Ages.