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AS I SEE IT

Posted 2/22/12 (Wed)

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

Being that it is yet another election year (a presidential election nonetheless), if anyone thinks that the U.S. Congress and the Obama administration are going to reach any quick decisions on the nation’s 2013 budget, they can think again.
The Obama administration and the Republicans in Washington, D.C. have not been able to come to any real resolution as to how to fix America’s stagnant economy, get the nation’s unemployed back to work, or solve the country’s housing problems for the past three years. So don’t expect the debate over this year’s budget and ever-increasing federal deficit to be any different.
Obama is calling his proposed $3.8 trillion budget as one of being “fiscally responsible.” But one has to wonder what makes a new budget that boosts spending by $227 billion while adding another $329 billion to an already huge deficit, and does nothing to fix the entitlement crisis associated with Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security as being responsible.
The answer is that the budget really has nothing to do with doing what is right for America and the American taxpayer. The new budget proposal with its myriad of tax increases and increased expenditures is just a campaign tool for the upcoming presidential election.
As part of the new budget, Obama is proposing to impose new taxes on the nation’s wealthiest families and more taxes on businesses to help pay for continued government growth, including another $315 billion in new stimulus funding.
And all of those new tax increases along with the increased government spending just aren’t going to fly for the Republicans in Congress, who are calling for deeper spending cuts and cuts in the soaring costs of Medicare and Medicaid, which are the biggest drivers of the deficit.
So the battle lines, and their associated gridlock, are once again drawn in Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, hasn’t passed a budget in about 1,000 days. So don’t expect Congress and the White House to actually pass this or any budget this year.
Which is extremely unfortunate for Americans. America is facing a financial meltdown, yet the President and the U.S. Congress can’t move past election-year politics, which have now become a yearly occurrence.
What the United States needs now is bold leadership on the budget. We need leaders on both sides of the political fence to stand up and do what is right to get this nation’s economic house in order and get our economy back on track.
But if what has happened in the past three years is any indication of what the future holds, that isn’t going to happen this year either.