Budget Blues: Where’s Your Budget, Mr. Ryan? (updated)

Congressman Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, today in the Wall Street Journal asks the same question of President Obama:

Where’s Your Budget, Mr. President?

During the negotiations over raising the debt ceiling, President Obama reportedly warned Republican leaders not to call his bluff by sending him a bill without tax increases. Republicans in Congress ignored this threat and passed a bill that cuts more than a dollar in spending for every dollar it increases the debt limit, without raising taxes.

Yesterday, Mr. Obama signed this bill into law. He was, as he said, bluffing.

Nevertheless, the president still hasn’t shown us his cards. He still hasn’t put forward a credible plan to tackle the threat of ever-rising spending and debt, and his evasiveness is emblematic of the party he leads.

Apparently, as CNS News reports, the President has had other things on his mind:

“President Barack Obama said the weak economy in the United States could be blamed partially on international events and natural disasters, such as the March 11 earthquake in Japan.” 

Fair enough. But now, Mr. Ryan has negated all my hard work when he states that:

The president’s February budget deliberately dodged the tough choices necessary to confront the threat of runaway federal spending. It was rejected unanimously in a Senate controlled by his own party.

But, what set of numbers is Mr. Ryan using for his projections? Oh, they come from the CBO, Congressional Budget Office, and not the White House OMB, Office of Management and Budget. Also, essentially everything Mr. Ryan offers is presented as a percentage of GDP, Gross Domestic Product. Such as this:

Certainly is “frightening” but doesn’t tell us very much, Mr. Ryan. Where are the spreadsheets so we can ascertain your plans for cuts in specific line items such as Capitol Police outlays, up from a $120m in ’01 to $366m in ’10 with $397m “budgeted” for ’12? Over a third of a billion dollars just for safeguarding our esteemed legislators?

Hillary Clinton’s State Department empire has grown from $6.69b, when her husband was Prez, to $23.80b in ’10 with $32.48b scheduled for the next fiscal year. Whoa! And those pesky foreigners still don’t like us. Think we could save some money there.

How many federal employees will be terminated laid-off? What about Congressional salary cuts? Anything in the works there?

You can swim in the sea of OMB budget numbers yourself by diving in here. If you’re willing to suspend some of the Congressman’s disbelief, that is.

Whatcha got, Mr. Ryan? Your numbers, please!

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Update: Here’s the latest from Rasmussen. . .

Just 22% Approve of Debt Ceiling Deal, Most Doubt It Will Cut Spending

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Most voters disapprove of the debt ceiling agreement reached by the president and Congress earlier this week and most doubt it will actually reduce government spending.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 22% of Likely Voters nationwide approve of the agreement while 53% disapprove. Twenty-six percent (26%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Guess the American people, as Mr. Lincoln once wryly observed, aren’t all that easy to fool. You’d think somebody in Washington would catch on. But then, Mark Twain’s comments would indicate otherwise. :)

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