February 13th, 2012
07:45 PM ET

Letters to the President #1120: 'The new...old...budget'

Reporter's Note: President Obama has unveiled his latest budget plans, so I am unveiling my latest letter to the White House.

Dear Mr. President,

Come on, let’s admit it: Nobody in D.C. has any new ideas about how to fix the economy, do they? I’ve been looking over the details of your latest budget proposal, and I’m having flashbacks of Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.

Tax the rich. Build infrastructure. Promote education. Barely touch entitlements.
Yadda, yadda, yadda. Frankly, I could have written that budget. All I would have had to do was look at all your previous ones.

Maybe that shows consistency. Maybe it shows stagnation. I don’t know. But what it does not show is even a hint of a new strategy; a new approach to making government as affordable and effective as we need it to be. And surely such ideas must exist. For crying out loud, we have 300-million people living in this country; someone has to have a new notions about how we can approach this equation of taxes and services.

But no. What we hear over and over again is the same old songs from both sides. As a general rule, the Republicans say “cut, cut, cut” and that’s the way you balance the budget. Lost services? Hard times? Suck it up. Tough days require tough choices.

Democrats, on the other hand, seem to just as consistently say “tax, tax, tax,” as if that is the only sure way to get to better days. Tough times do require tough choices, they say, but uh….let’s do that part next year.

Oh sure, both parties give lip service to the idea of compromise, and seem to realize that a real, long term solution probably will involve both strategies. But in the end, each leans so heavily to its preferred course that time and again we hear the same two choruses, we see budget proposals (like yours, no offense) which are fist fights wrapped up with a bow, and precious little progress of any sort toward a lasting solution.

As always, I wish you well in your budgetary endeavors and I hope that they will lead to good for our nation. But forgive me if I say, I’m not sure if I see how that will happen.

Aside from all that, I hope your week is off to a decent start. Call if you can.


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