Heartland Institute Experts React to Obama’s 2013 Budget

Published February 13, 2012

President Barack Obama on Monday released his 2013 budget, which includes $3.8 trillion in spending over 10 years. In Obama’s budget, the annual federal deficit falls below $600 billion just once, in 2018. The president’s budget achieves $1.6 trillion in deficit reduction by raising taxes, and another $1.5 trillion over a decade through spending cuts – though none to entitlements.

The following statements from budget and tax experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Tammy Nash at [email protected] and 312/377-4000. After regular business hours, contact Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/731-9364.

“Obama has some good words about restraining the budget and reducing the rate of deficit, but little of long-term substance in his 2013 budget proposal. Like his predecessors before him, it is ‘dead on arrival’ and the House of Representatives should begin immediately, under Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to build upon his proposal last year.

“The vision of an America that enjoys economic growth is not going to come from the European welfare-state ideals of President Obama and his social Democrats in the Congress, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). They believe in that great fiction that everyone might live at the expense of everyone else, if we only transfer wealth from successful to unsuccessful people.

“Rep. Ryan sees a future in which each of us contributes and creates wealth and growth because we live in a country that respects rights, encourages enterprise, and regards income honestly and competitively earned as deserving low taxation.”

Joe Cobb
Policy Advisor, Economics
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“President Obama wants to spend another $3.8 trillion for 2013. When George W. Bush became president in 2001, federal spending totaled $1.8 trillion. And there is no end in sight for more spending in future years. Obama claims $2.50 in ‘cuts’ for every $1 in higher taxes, yet his cuts are simply slightly slower increases in spending than what had been previously projected.

“The federal government grows bigger and more powerful under the Obama budget. Expect the private sector to grow smaller and weaker.”

Steve Stanek
Research Fellow, Budget and Tax Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor
Budget & Tax News
[email protected]

“President Obama’s fondness for shell games and rationing as methods of demonstrating budget cuts is once again on display with today’s budget release. The administration is demanding drugmakers cut back on the prices of their products for the roughly nine million seniors considered dual-eligibles, who receive benefits from both Medicaid and Medicare – rather than pursue any number of true cost-saving reforms, including such non-controversial approaches as block-granting Medicaid. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that simply block-granting Medicaid’s long-term care program to the states would result in a savings of more than $287 billion over the next decade.

“But President Obama is not interested in arguing for pragmatic, significant, and beneficial reforms. Instead, his budget demonstrates once again his single-minded focus on turning health care companies – providers, drugmakers, and insurers – into public utilities that serve his social-engineering mission.”

Benjamin Domenech
Research Fellow, The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Health Care News
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 28-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; Tallahassee, Florida; and Columbus, Ohio. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.