Senator John Thune
For more than five years, the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress have been trying to tax, spend, and borrow our country’s way out of economic turmoil. Unfortunately, the failed economic policies of the past five years have left 3.6 million Americans out of work for six months or longer and have led to the lowest labor participation rate since Jimmy Carter was president.
Our economic challenges require presidential leadership in order to move the needle. Yet, with over two years still left in his presidency and millions of middle-income Americans hurting in this weak economy, the president has already given up on addressing our economic woes and is content to put forward a budget that merely panders to his political base. On March 4th, the Obama administration released its much delayed lame-duck budget proposal for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015.
In his budget, the president is doubling down on the failed policies of the past five years and is proposing over $1 trillion worth of tax increases—on top of the $1.7 trillion he has already shepherded through Congress. The president has already added nearly $7 trillion to our nation’s debt and this budget proposal would add an additional $8.3 trillion more by the end of his proposed FY 2015 budget window. The president’s budget request once again avoids making the decisions necessary to rein in our nation’s growing debt – a failure that will have serious consequences when it comes to economic growth and job creation across the country.
The president’s budget also failed to prioritize issues important to South Dakota. The budget requested $2.4 million for the Lewis and Clark Rural Water Project, an amount that will further extend the amount of time needed to complete the project, increasing the cost to taxpayers. The proposal recommends closing 250 Farm Service Agency offices around the country, downsizing the National Guard, and enacting a backdoor energy tax that will squarely hit the pocketbooks of South Dakota families. It’s long past time for the president to get serious about working with Congress to pass bipartisan reforms that will actually improve Americans’ lives, like repealing the medical device tax, approving the Keystone XL pipeline, and enacting Trade Promotion Authority.Unfortunately, it seems the president is adamant on growing government even if it comes at the expense of the middle class. This budget is yet another example of the lack of leadership in the White House when it comes to addressing our exploding federal spending and debt and the impact it’s having on our economy.