Sunday, February 12, 2012

Obama Punts on Budget

The federal budget is out today, and the advance word is that it doesn't look beyond the election in November. Writes Douglas Holtz-Eakin:
As a campaign document, it will be straightforward. Tax increases as a sop to those who blame their economic misery on the affluent and Wall Street. Billions of dollars in new “investments” as the president restarts his successful campaign-as-handout factory.
Let's leave out the overall budget deficit of about a trillion dollars in FY13.  Let's look at the real spending  programs.  Social Security is hemorrhaging $60 billion a year and Medicare is bleeding $280 billion a year in spending over and above payroll tax revenues.

The president and his campaign team obviously think that nothing has changed.  They are offering goodies and handouts for the election with no eye on the future at all (and they blame corporate greed for short-term attitudes).

But the aftermath of the Crash of 2008 showed that Americans absolutely hate bailouts.  At some point the American voters are going to start voting on fiscal sanity.  It might be as soon as this November.

Here in India, in the Times of India, an Indian transplant to Britland, Sunil Khilnani, worries about the Indian government's inability to deliver services the "last mile."  Really, what planet is he living on?  Governments have never delivered on any services, except the handing out of goodies to their supporters and the punishing of dissenters.

Governments everywhere and in every time have taxed the people and rewarded their supporters as much as they dare.  They have delivered on mighty little.  Because there is no advantage to the average elected politician or the local thug dictator in delivering over that last mile.

Delivering services is what capitalism does, and it does it very well.

No comments:

Post a Comment