Today, we got a Valentine from our President: a budget. YEAH!! (yes thats sarcastic). I’ll be trying to spend my free time ( or pulling all nighters) going through the details. However, I do have some first reactions.
I.1. To the critics … SHUT UP!
There is no way you could have read this ALL. Even if you had all day, its 200 + pages. Granted you can surely skim or skip to the summary, but, as they say, the devil is in the details. On NPR, Paul Ryan harshly criticized the budget as pathetic. Really? Did you even read it? Oh I forgot, congressmen don’t even read bills. Are these knee-jerk reactions really necessary? It’s like a 3rd grader criticizing Quantum Mechanics for not making sense. Sorry but it takes a little more than that to understand even the basic principles.
I.2 Here we go again. .. Entitlements
As expected, the budget does not do anything to entitlements. And of course the critics are all over this. It is true that in the long-term, entitlements seem to be a problem. However, in the near future, entitlement programs are brining more money in then they spend. That’s right, Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security and in the black. They will also be in the black in the near future.
I. 3. The Wars
How did we get here in such a short time? At the end of the day, our country waged a 2-front war and reduced taxes AT THE SAME TIME! How ridiculous is that. We have to address the other side of the equation. Whether its letting the temporary taxes expire as they were intended too (not very likely) or get rid of the tax break and loop holes e.g.
1) Mortgage interest tax deduction: either place ceilings or limit this.
2) Reduce/eliminate business tax breaks.
More importantly, earlier reports on the administration’s work on the war budget is flat. THen a sudden drop off added to compensate an expected ramp down of the Afghan war. however, this seems dubious. Unlike the entitlements, the war budget must come from normal revenue.