Heartland Institute Experts React to Obama’s Budget, Press Conference

Published February 15, 2011

President Barack Obama released his 2012 budget on Monday and defended it at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. The following comments from staff at The Heartland Institute may be used for attribution.

“President Obama has proposed a budget with a $1.6 trillion deficit. This nearly matches total federal spending of $1.8 trillion just 10 years ago. This is astonishing.

“Imagine if almost none of the federal spending 10 years ago had been paid for. The nation — the world — would have been appalled. Now our president and many of his backers shrug at a deficit that nearly matches total federal spending in 2001.

“They also shrug at a budget of $3.7 trillion, double federal spending in 2001. The president’s budget does virtually nothing to control entitlement spending or military spending, raises taxes on American companies that do business overseas, pledges tens of billions of dollars to the boondoggle known as high-speed rail, and more. It’s hard to know where to stop criticizing.

“George W. Bush raised federal spending more than twice as much as Bill Clinton did, and doubled the national debt in the process. Now Obama is making the wild-spending Bush look like Ebenezer Scrooge.”

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

“President Obama’s proposed budget ignores entitlements, the biggest strain on future taxpayers and the budget. By ignoring the advice of his own fiscal commission, the president has kicked the can farther down the road on addressing the deficit.

“Additionally, Obama failed to follow through with his own promise in the State of the Union address to reform the corporate income tax. Without reform, America’s corporate tax rate structure will continue to serve as our economy’s Achilles heel.

“The president’s budget does too little to address the fact that federal spending continues to spiral out of control, and that our tax code is preventing our economy from recovering more quickly.”

John Nothdurft
Director of Government Relations
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 27-year-old national nonprofit organization based in Chicago. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site at http://www.heartland.org or call 312/377-4000.