As noted on The Weekly Standard blog, the acting director of President Obama’s Office of Management and Budget wrote an op-ed published across the country, as well as put up on the White House blog, claiming that “the President’s Budget … shows how we can live within our means while further growing the economy, strengthening the middle class, and securing the nation’s future.”
This budget, according to White House budget projections, adds nearly $5.3 trillion to the national debt between 2014 and 2023 and creates annual deficits ranging from $439 billion to $744 billion over that time period. For perspective, adding $5.3 trillion to the national debt is the equivalent of adding nearly $17,000 in debt for every man, woman and child in America in 2012. And this, to America’s liberal political leaders, is what “living with in our means” looks like.
According to the American Institute of CPAs, adding entitlement program costs (Medicare, Social Security, etc.) to the current national debt means U.S. government deficits are $2.5 trillion more than the household net worth of the entire country, so claiming that adding $5.3 trillion to the national debt over 10 years is the path to “living within our means” borders on insanity.
This would all be simply an academic debate for Utah, if it weren’t for the fact that nearly one-third of the state’s budget came from the federal government, according to the Tax Foundation. Relying on Washington, D.C., to continue paying for Utah’s public schools, health care for the poor, road maintenance, and law enforcement is going to become an increasingly risky proposition moving forward.
This is one reason why Utah policymakers should pass a spending amendment to the Utah Constitution for Utahns to vote on. By doing so, we can protect Utah children and families against the “spending bias” in Washington, D.C. that creates so much risk for Utahns.
In short, we can be an example to the nation of what “living within our means” really looks like.