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Obama’s 2012 Budget: Does it cut too much or not enough?

President Obama’s 2012 proposed fiscal budget may be a good starting place for figuring out just how to help turn around the national debt, but only so much can be done in one year and if Republicans and Democrats hope to see change to the deficit, they are going to have to establish some middle ground when confronting the issue.

In The Budget Message of the President, Obama acknowledges how critical it is to work together for the nation to stay economically competitive: “We do this by coming together as Americans, not Democrats or Republicans, to make the tough choices that get America’s fiscal house in order, investing in what works, cutting what doesn’t, and changing the way business is done in Washington.”

Some believe the budget doesn’t cut enough:

GOP members, including Senator Pat Toomey, are skeptical and believe the budget doesn’t go far enough. The Obama budget sets taxpayers worrying about$3.73 trillion in spending. Senator Toomey said, “We cannot borrow, spend and tax our way to prosperity.” He believes that the federal government is suffering from a ‘spending addiction’ currently.

In a speech at the Heritage Foundation today, Toomey went so far as to warn that the U.S. could enter a crisis like the one faced by Greece over the past year.

From the excellent write-up in the Morning Call:

“The thing that worries me as a much as anything else is the danger that we could have a dangerous and catastrophic shock,” Toomey said, listing problems like the collapse of the dollar or a run on inflation. “I am not predicting that any of these things are going to happen tomorrow … I am suggesting that these are the things that happen to countries that run too much debt for too long.”

Still, democrats are looking long term at Obama’s budget and believe that his fiscal proposals may be starting ground for action that can help turn around the national debt. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that Obama’s proposed plan will cut over $1 trillion over the next decade from the deficit.

Democrats agree that spending cannot continue at its current rate if the nation’s economy is to turn around; however, those cuts must be made responsibly with the intentions to preserve economic development while cutting out ‘waste’ and ‘abuse.’

Democrats warn not to cut too much in the budget:

Senator Bob Casey noted that, “We can’t indiscriminately slash funding for good programs that benefit Pennsylvanians and invest in our economic future.” Casey, among others, is concerned about cutting ‘non-defense discretionary spending’ for programs like LIHEAP, which provides heating to needy citizens across Pennsylvania along with the rest of the country. As a way to tackle spending and cutting issues, he has joined a bipartisan group of senators to cooperatively confront hard fiscal decisions.

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