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March 03, 2011

Obama Is Super Serious About Deficit And Debt Reduction But First, He'd Like A 62% Increase In Federal Transportation Spending

High speed rail isn't cheap.

Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama is not amused.

Given the record deficit this year, Sessions said he was surprised to see Obama’s 2012 budget call for an 11 percent spending increase and a 9.5 percent increase for the Education and Energy departments, respectively.

But he said “I was flabbergasted to see Transportation wants 62 percent increase in spending.”

Sessions noted, ahead of LaHood’s testimony on the request, that the Obama budget calls for an unspecified new tax to raise $435 billion to pay for the new six-year, $556-billion infrastructure build-out.

“I just have to say that is unrealistic,” Sessions said. “If you can’t tell us what kind of tax this is, I think there is zero chance of us passing such a tax as this.”

...LaHood said “we want to work with Congress on that.” He said Obama is not in favor of raising the gas tax in a “lousy economy.”

$556 billion over 6 years is a nice chunk of change to dole out to unions, eh?

Let's see, that's about $93 BILLION/year in new spending over that time. Yet when Republicans proposed cutting a bit more than that across the whole federal government it's draconian. But spending another half billion dollars we don't have? Why that's how things are done, it's for the unions after all.

(Just to be clear..the Transportation budget Sessions is talking about is for the 2012 Fiscal Year which starts on October 1, 2011. That's different from the Continuing Resolution debate that's ongoing for the 2011 Fiscal Year which started on October 1, 2010. We're still dealing with the latter because the Democrats failed to pass a budget before they got kicked out of the House majority.)

It's almost as if Obama is not a centrist budget hawk and is fundamentally not serious about curbing spending. Quick! Get some fainting salts for Andrew Sullivan and David Brooks.

Obama keeps saying his future budget plans ensure "we live within our means" which is a load of BS and now you also have to pretend there will be at least $435 Billion in new but unidentified taxes. Oh and what ever happened to Obama's pledge (long since broken) that he wouldn't raise taxes on people making less than $250K? How's this going to work? Um, they don't know or won't say. The "magic asterisk" lives!

I get that budget documents are wish lists and Presidents toss out a lot of things they know they'll never get so they can "give them up" in the negotiations and still get what they really want when all is said and done.

That's one of the flaws with the GOP's $100 billion in cuts. That's supposed to be our end point. They should have started out with Rand Paul's $500 billion plan and 'compromised' at $100 billion. Yes, they should have just adopted thee $500 billion in cuts or more but there's still a Democratically controlled Senate and Obama to deal with. We're not going to get the full loaf, so we need to start much higher than our likely end point.

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posted by DrewM. at 11:56 AM

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