A new report by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service finds that the largest federal budget item is spending on welfare programs. To support the 83 programs that CRS identified as welfare programs, the federal government spends $745.84 billion.
That dollar amount exceeds the $725 billion spent by the federal government on Social Security, $480 billion on Medicare, and $540 billion on non-war defense.
In the wake of the Treasury Department’s newly released summary of federal spending for 2012, it’s now possible to detail just how profligate the Obama years have been. Here’s the upshot: Under Obama, for every $7 we’ve had, we’ve spent nearly $11 (or, to be more exact, $10.95). That’s like a family that makes $70,000 a year — and is already knee-deep in debt — blowing nearly $110,000 a year.
As Mike Warren highlights, moderator Martha Raddatz apparently didn’t think Obamacare was important enough to make the cut as one of the nine topics she brought up during the vice presidential debate. Two other closely related topics that didn’t make her cut were federal spending and the national debt. Anyone who had been asleep for four years before waking up and tuning in would never have guessed that Obamacare, rampant federal spending, and unsustainable federal debt had given rise to the Tea Party and had propelled the GOP to gains of 63 House seats and 6 Senate seats in the 2010 elections.
In May 2009, President Obama released his updated budget estimates, which projected that the federal deficit for fiscal year 2012 would be $557 billion (see table S-1). The Congressional Budget Office now says that the deficit for fiscal year 2012 (which ended on September 30) was about $1.1 trillion — or about twice what Obama said it would be. In other words, Obama’s estimate was off by more than half a trillion dollars.
At a townhall-style event in Iowa, Paul Ryan was asked to provide more specifics about the Romney-Ryan economic plan, and he proceeded to talk about Romney's 5-point plan for about eight minutes. Buzzfeed posts the video:
It’s a couple days old, but nevertheless worth watching: Here’s the clip of President Obama’s interview with David Letterman (which Steve Hayes discusses in greater detail here), during which Obama shows that he apparently has no idea how big our national debt is — apparently even to the nearest trillion (see around the 2:00 mark):
In an appearance on the LateShow with David Letterman, President Barack Obama suggested that most of the country’s debt was accumulated under George W. Bush, pretended that he has offered a solution to these problems, said that he does not know the total U.S. national debt, and claimed that the debt is not a short-term concern for the country.
On Monday, the Romney campaign trumpeted a plan to change the campaign's direction and "reinforce more specifics" on policy. THE WEEKLY STANDARD has obtained a copy of a memo from GOP political veteran David Smick, addressed to the Romney campaign, with advice on how to "revamp" the television ad strategy. Read the memo below:
In his speech Wednesday night, Bill Clinton said, "President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did. No president—not me or any of my predecessors—could have repaired all the damage in just four years."
Always looking "forward," President Obama has asked Bill Clinton—who was elected to the presidency 20 years ago—to speak tonight and suggest to the American people (whether explicitly or implicitly) that this is really a choice between Clinton and George W. Bush, rather than between Obama and Mitt Romney. If you're Obama, this beats running on your record.
Regardless of one's precise political peccadilloes, most of us agree this is one of the most important elections of our lifetime. However, one gets the feeling the Romney campaign, and even the RNC, either aren't aware of the stakes or, perhaps, just not sure of the best way to convey those stakes to the electorate. But there's a simple way to make sure the upcoming Republican convention in Tampa acts as a constant reminder of the stakes.
In an interview on March 22, two weeks before Mitt Romney would win the Wisconsin primary and effectively end the race for the Republican nomination, Milwaukee talk radio host Charlie Sykes asked about his embrace of Paul Ryan’s budget.
In a recent campaign television ad, President Barack Obama states, "I believe the only way to create an economy built to last is to strengthen the middle class. Asking the wealthy to pay a little more so we can pay down our debt in a balanced way." The last part--committing to pay down the national debt--is a promise Obama's reiterated throughout his presidency and campaign.
Senator Mike Lee criticized President Obama's and the Democrats' plan to raise taxes, saying that "their proposal would leave 94% of this year's deficit intact, which makes it an inherently unserious proposal insofar as it relates to deficit reduction."