Let Us Talk

March 1, 2009

President Obama’s Budget – Can You Handle The Truth?

president-obama-marines-no-carolina Last Thursday President Obama laid all his economic cards on the table when he revealed his first budget. He decided to do what has never been done in Washington before and treated taxpayers like grown-ups. He was open, honest and straightforward about what Washington has spent in the past and what he proposes to spend to get our economy out from it’s deep abyss.

The President’s budget includes $3.6 trillion to be spent in 2010 – with almost $1.2 trillion of it to be borrowed. His spending plan signals a sharp, maybe even historic, change of direction on taxes and the role of government. By boldly laying his cards on the table President Obama is betting that the public can handle the truth. Can you handle the truth?

Our economy is in a nose dive. Our American economy shrunk at a 6.2 percent pace in the last three months of 2008 the Commerce Department reported on Friday. That same day the White House announced that it will take a 36-percent share in Citigroup. These two facts by themselves are gloomy reminders that critical decisions have to be made in order to turn our economy around. President Obama’s truth about the budget will help him to make well-informed and educated decisions.

President Bush never included the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in his budgets; Bush treated both wars as ‘emergencies’ and therefore kept them off the books and gave us fake budgets all the years he was in office. Bush never included anything in his budgets for federal disaster response even though we have several disasters each year. For example Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Virginia massacre, fires in California as well as tornados in Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, Alabama and Illinois.

President Obama included the wars and natural disasters in his 10-year budget so that we will have realistic numbers – no deceptions, no facades and no shams.

Obama made it clear that laying the groundwork for a strong economy down the road won’t be free. Do you want to get rid of our oil addiction and simultaneously save our environment and create a green future? Do you want to reform health care and insure most Americans? Do you want to keep Medicare around? Do you want to repair our infrastructure and maintain our roads, bridges, airports and mass transit? Do you want to build a modern energy grid? All these items are necessary to ensure that America keeps our super power status — it will all cost money and Obama didn’t sugarcoat it.

Obama budgeted funds as a down payment for those priorities and he proposed taxes and identified savings to help cover the expenses.

President Obama’s message to us and to those on Capitol Hill was loud and clear — stop the hallucinating and confused thinking.  Stop living on Fantasy Island. Stop being Alice in Wonderland. None of these things we desire will pay for themselves and we can’t continue to borrow and spend and pass the bill to our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Yes we can argue about the larger role for government that Obama envisions for the nation. And we can argue about whether high earners should pay higher taxes. But by putting his ideas into budgetary black-and-white President Obama has challenged taxpayers to make realistic choices about what they want from their government and then to pay for it.  That’s what responsible, mature grown-ups do.

Can you handle the truth?




  1. Yes, and I love it! It is definitely time that we grow up. Thank you, President Obama.

    Comment by cindyinatl — March 1, 2009 @ 5:14 pm | Reply

    • Cindy – I agree. it’s going to be difficult but we have to face the consequences of the past so we can give our children a clean economic bill of health.

      We’ve got to borrow less and spend what we have.

      Comment by Paulette — March 1, 2009 @ 5:20 pm | Reply

  2. Good post Paulette. I to appreciate the disclosure; yet I have concerns.

    That’s a lot to handle at once. Think about how big an issue as health care actually is … let alone other major issues.

    Can Congress handle this agenda? The debates alone are daunting, let alone trying to get GOP support; especially considering the partisan ways of Speaker Pelosi and the obstructionist nature of the GOP.

    Oh well … at least the president is willing to try.

    Comment by afrankangle — March 2, 2009 @ 9:02 am | Reply

    • Hey Frank. I have concerns as well but because we haven’t done anything we now have everything on our plates and we no longer have the luxury of time.

      It is RIDICULOUS and TRAGIC that people are spending their retirement and life savings just to pay for medical bills. What are we going to do when our taxpayers who have been paying taxes for their entire lives run out of money – put them on the streets??? There is something profoundly wrong with that.

      This is America and we pay taxes so that this country can provide us with some essential services that we as individuals cannot provide for ourself.

      If people in the GOP believe that government should be less involved in HUGE things like health care, education and our infrastructure then I believe we as taxpayers should pay less taxes. Why are we paying our government so much tax for less government???

      Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that our government should interfere in our day-to-days lives or spy on us but there are big things like the three I mentioned that the government should be involved in so that we can live our lives with a sense of security and well being. I don’t want to feel that I’m driving on a bridge and it might collapse. I don’t want to feel that if I get sick everything I have worked HARD for disappears and I become destitute, impoverished and end up on the breadline. RIDICULOUS.

      Comment by Paulette — March 2, 2009 @ 1:01 pm | Reply

  3. I feel our economic situation will worsen, before getting better, but right now there’s a “Street Fight” going on, where the winner must be decided first before solutions can be found and implemented.


    Comment by Tom Awtry — March 2, 2009 @ 10:34 am | Reply

    • Tom, you’re being ‘nice’. It will will be MORE than a ‘Street Fight’ it’s going to be a blood bath. But we have to get these things done — we’ve been passive for way to long on health care etc. We cannot afford to wait another 10 years – we just can’t.

      Comment by Paulette — March 2, 2009 @ 12:28 pm | Reply

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