Obama’s Deficient Budget Pledge

J.D. Foster /

President Obama’s address to a Joint Session of Congress on health care reform included a range of urgings, pleadings, and partisan jabs, and a single bright line in the sand dealing not with health care per se but with the deficit. The President said, “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future. Period.”

Before we get too carried away cheering the President’s sudden fealty to fiscal sanity we need to remember he did say the bill should come in at around $900 billion over 10 years. According to the various drafts and legislation circulating on Capital Hill, some of this would be offset with spending cuts but much of this amount represents a net expansion of government. Health care reform should not be used as an excuse to grow government. Health care reform should be spending neutral, not just budget neutral. (more…)