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Obama $4T Budget Derided as 'Envy Economics'


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WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's ambitious $4 trillion budget is now in the hands of Congress.

He calls the spending plan another example of his program of middle class economics.

"It helps working families' paychecks go farther by treating things like paid sick leave and child care as the economic priorities that they are," Obama said.

To do that the president proposes raising $1.5 trillion in new taxes on high-earning taxpayers and corporations, including giving America the distinction of having the highest estate tax in the world.

But according to the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution, 70 percent of middle class families making between $50,000 and $70,000 a year would see no change in their tax bills.

Instead of middle class economics, some conservatives are calling it "envy economics."

"I think this was not a budget," Stephen Moore, chief economist for the Heritage Foundation, said. "This was a social statement; it was a political philosophy that he is putting forward that the way you create growth is by stealing from the rich and giving to the poor."

The president's 10-year spending plan also goes over federal spending caps agreed on by both parties by nearly $500 billion.

"I'm going to keep fighting to make sure that every American has the chance, not just to share in America's success, but to contribute to America's success. That's what this budget is all about," Obama said.

Democratic leaders call it a "forward looking" and "fiscally responsible" plan. But the Republican majority disagrees.

Critics say the president wrote his budget as though the November election that ushered in a new Republican majority on Captitol Hill never happened.

"This was an in-your-face budget that said, 'You know, we're going to go ahead with our liberal agenda. We don't care what the voters say. We don't care what the conservative Republican majority in Congress says. We're going to move aggressively forward with this,'" Moore said.

The president has introduced some of these ideas before and they failed -- even when Democrats controlled the Senate.

Another big issue is that the president's budget doesn't even try to balance the budget.

"This plan never balances -- ever," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, charged. "It contains no solutions to address the drivers of our debt and no plan to fix our entire tax code to help foster growth and create jobs."

"Worse yet, President Obama would impose new taxes and more spending without a responsible plan to honestly address the big challenges facing our country," Boehner said.

Moore agreed.

"The president talks about how fiscally responsible it is and yet it would continue to raise our national debt by another $5 trillion over the next decade," Moore told CBN News.

"Now that's on top of the $7 trillion addition to the debt we've already had over the first six years of President Obama. That's not gonna cut it with the American people," he said.

Republican budget writers promise to pass a spending plan of their own that's balanced. They have until April 15 to do so.  Voters who sent them to Washington will be watching.

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About The Author


As Senior Washington Correspondent for CBN News, Jennifer covers the intersection of faith and politics - often producing longer format stories that dive deep into the most pressing issues facing Americans today. A 20-year veteran journalist, Jennifer has spent most of her career covering politics, most recently at the White House as CBN's chief White House Correspondent covering the Obama and Trump administrations. She's also covered Capitol Hill along with a slew of major national stories from the 2008 financial crisis to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic and every election in between. Jennifer