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Doubling Down on Failed Stimulus Policies

Hours before the nation recognized the anniversary of President Obama’s failed stimulus plan, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office announced unemployment could stay above 8 percent for the next three years. We are experiencing the longest run of high unemployment since the Great Depression, despite promises that a trillion dollars in “timely, targeted, and temporary” federal spending would stimulate job creation.

Instead of changing course, this week the president unveiled his fourth budget plan that doubles down on his administration’s failed stimulus spending policies. A look at a few of the details of the president’s budget proves he is leading our nation down a path of bankruptcy.
First Things First: Some Startling Facts

At a time when our economy is struggling to create jobs and taxpayers are already swimming in debt, it takes a lot of audacity to propose a budget that will increase taxes, spending, and debt. The numbers don’t lie:

  • $47 trillion – Government spending over the next 10 years;
  • $1.9 trillion – New tax hikes to pay for the president’s latest spending spree;
  • $11 trillion – The amount of new debt future generations will have pay;
  • $2 trillion – Cost hidden behind the president’s accounting gimmicks; and
  • 0 – The number of long-term reforms that will tackle the nation’s challenges.

Piling New Programs on Top of Old

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on Congress to “cut through the maze of confusing [job] training programs” and implement “one program, one website, and one place to go for all the information and help [job seekers] need.” In stark contrast, his budget proposal includes new job-training initiatives, and little to support his previous request for consolidation.

Right now, the federal government operates roughly 47 job training programs at a cost of $18 billion a year. Yet the president wants to add more than $20 billion in new spending to fund even more programs.

Budget Gimmicks to Hide the True Size and Cost of Government

The president claims his budget request for the Department of Education comes in at $69.8 billion, but a closer look at the fine print shows the real costs of the president’s plan. Here are just some of the hidden costs in the president’s budget:

  • $13.3 billion – To shore up the bloated Pell Grant program;
  • $10 billion – To support teacher union bailouts;
  • $2.5 billion – To fund a new competition to “elevate the teaching profession;”
  • $6 billion – To expand the federal role in school construction; and
  • $1.1 billion – To support a new joint job-training program with the Labor Department.

Strip away the gimmicks, and taxpayers on the left on the hook for nearly $103 billion in education spending during the next fiscal year alone.

Feeding a Job Destroying Federal Bureaucracy

President Obama has requested even more money (an additional $14 million) to fund the Big Labor agenda of his National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Over the last several years, the NLRB has quietly advanced sweeping changes to our nation’s workforce, such as weakening workers’ right to cast a secret ballot and making it more difficult to challenge union representation. The president’s budget represents a rubber stamp of approval on this radical agenda, ensuring the board can continue to wreak havoc on our workplaces. Taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for policies that assault the rights of American workers and employers.

Failing to Meet our Commitments

Despite stuffing loads of new spending and tax hikes into his budget proposal, the president is still unable to move our nation closer to meeting its commitment to students with disabilities. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) included a promise that the federal government would pay 40 percent of the additional cost of educating students. The president’s budget blueprint once again ignores this obligation, funding IDEA at only 16 percent, in favor of creating dozens of new multi-billion-dollar programs – many of which are redundant to existing federal initiatives.

Putting forth another budget proposal full of the same failed stimulus policies of record spending, debt, and taxes is a disservice to families, workers, and employers. House Republicans urge the president to join us in our efforts to advance a fiscally responsible budget plan that will meet our commitments without breaking the bank.