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OBAMA'S BETRAYAL OF TRUST

IN 2013 OBAMA ENDORSED BUDGET CUTS WORSE THAN

THAN THE DISASTROUS 2011 REPUBLICAN BUDGET PLAN.

THERE WILL BE GRIM RESULTS FOR NEEDED
GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS.


Senate Continuing Resolution to Accept House Republican Low Spending Levels

U.S. GOVERNMENT DISCRETIONARY SPENDING IN BILLIONS


You get what you pay for.  You reap what you sow.  Since 1981 political forces in America have been hard at work slashing non-defense discretionary spending.   As a share of our economy non-defense discretionary spending is down almost 50% since 1981.

The results are not hard to find.  Child poverty today is higher than it was at the time of Martin Luther King.  In fact, America has the highest rates of child poverty in the developed world.   America's infrastructure is literally falling apart.  We are the only modern nation with no energy efficient high speed rail.  In a whole series of measures to monitor social welfare, America's record is a social disaster.

One particularly grim result of this is the AIDS crisis where insane budget cuts in 1981 helped to prevent a quick response to AIDS before it got out of control.

Another grim result of Reagan budget cuts in 1981 was the near total destruction of the world's most advanced renewable energy research program.   Many people do not understand the importance of government scientific research.  Commercial business simply cannot afford to take the risk to fund research in new areas on the scale that the government can.   The risk reward factor does not allow commercial business to explore more than a limited number of options.  This is why a large part of America's technological edge has come from military research.  The internet was created by the Pentagon.    The Reagan budget cuts of 1981 cost the world a a future of safe renewable energy as well as even cutting money for things like nuclear fusion.   Today, the skies over the major cities of the developing world are filled with poison, and the world faces a global climate crisis.   It did not have to happen.  Unfortunately,  in 2013 the House Republicans just passed a bill to slash renewable energy spending even further.   See our report:  2013 Renewable Energy Budget Cuts

In 2000 a man who lost the popular vote was elected President due to America's nonsensical electoral "college" system.   George W. Bush set in motion policies that sent government debt soaring.  More huge tax cuts for the rich and a huge series of wars were launched.  The $64 billion "cost" of the Iraq war is now calculated in the trillions of direct and long term costs.  Today, in constant dollars military spending is higher than at any time since World War II.

Rather than confront the costs of runaway tax cuts for the rich and runaway plans for world empire, "budget policy" in Washington in recent times has focused on slashing programs that have already been slashed sharply since 1980.  Today, we can't even get into space without help from Russia.  We have to rely on Europe for part of our weather forecasting.  Fire fighting planes are so old that many can barely fly.

In 2013 "budget policy" in Washington entered a twilight zone worthy of a late night horror movie.  The Obama administration came close to plunging the country into another giant war, a war in Syria, that could have restarted a dangerous military confrontation with Russia, sending U.S. military spending soaring even higher.  Obama also set in motion a huge confrontation with his own political base over Syria.  Fortunately, this disaster was avoided by some creative diplomacy by Russia.  Unfortunately, the distraction of another giant imperial adventure had dire results for budget policy. 

THE 2013 CONTINUING RESOLUTION

The Democrats in Congress and President Obama almost totally capitulated to Republican demands and actually agreed to a budget plan even more draconian than the bizarre Ryan budget of 2011.  The only way this can work is if huge cuts are made in the military that are probably not politically possible.  Total discretionary spending is now placed at almost $200 billion below the 2010 budget.

This "plan" was supposed to prevent the Republicans from attacking their own government with a shutdown and a default on the debt.  It did not work.  Bizarre "Tea Party" lunatics in the Republican Party so scared Republican leaders that they went along with a mad plot to try to terrorize the nation into destroying President Obama's health care plan, a plan that was a copy of the plan created by their own Republican Presidential candidate in 2012, Mr. Romney.

So far this is not working.  We don't pretend to know where all this will end up.   What we do know is that "budget policy" in Washington since 2011 is a road to total disaster.

We need to change direction and start investing in America's future.  Taxes must be raised.  Military spending must be cut. 

From the Erie Canal to the creation of the internet, government investment has been critical to America's economic strength.  In Asia and other places rising economic powers are doing what America used to do.  They are investing huge amounts in modern infrastructure and the training of their young people with work related skills.   Today, America is engaged in unilateral economic disarmament.  The result are not hard to find for 30 years of failed  trade and economic policies.   America now runs a structural balance of payments deficit of over $500 billion.  In 1980 America was the world's largest creditor.  Today it is the world's largest debtor with a staggering net $4 trillion foreign debt (public and private).    Total debt as a share of GNP is at its highest level in US history.  Average wages are back to where they were in the 1960's.... and so on.

Can we ask China and other states to please stop investing in their future and be nice in world trade?   Not likely.   This is why forces of sanity need to prevail in America.   The effort to appease mentally unstable political forces and religious extremists has not worked.   After the government reopens, we need to go in a different direction, a direction that is already adopted by our global economic competitors.

Here are some details of what is needed as outlined in our reports:

 

WORLD FUTURE FUND REPORTS

Building a Real Economic Future

Broadband for All

A Manhattan Project for Renewable Energy

2013's Disastrous Renewable Energy Budget Cuts

NEWS STORIES RELATED TO DEMOCRAT BUDGET COMPROMISE

Congressional Progressive Caucus Opposes Continuing Resolution

The Senate Continuing Resolution Is Already a Compromise (Center for American Progress, 9-30-13)

Pelosi: Democrat Spending Concessions Lost in The News on Shutdown (The Hill, 10-4-13)

The Dirty Truth About Boehner's Clean Continuing Resolution (Center for American Progress, 9-10-13)